Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Do I Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Many of my family members and friends often ask me, "why do you do that Jiu-Jitsu stuff?"  Well, here are just a few reasons why I train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

  1. Diminishes the ego:   As a male, I have been conditioned by the pressures of society to be a victim of my pride and ego.  BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) has no place for ego, and you can either learn that the easy way or the hard way (or you can quit like many others have).  There is no lying in BJJ; it exposes all truths.  If you were out partying the night before, it will show on the mats.  If you are distracted with the bullshit that life throws at you, it will show on the mats.  If you are relying on strength rather than learning technique, it will eventually show on the mats.  There is no "chance" in BJJ, only technique, and superior technique will always be king out on the mats.   I have been dominated many times by individuals much smaller and weaker than me, and on the flip-side I have returned the favor to individuals much larger and stronger than myself.  The bottom line is that you must be dedicated, open-minded and willing to go through an enormous amount of struggle (mentally & physically) in order to excel in this beautiful art.
  2. Becomes a lifestyle:  As I said before, if you are not putting in the work it is eventually going to become apparent to yourself and the people you train with.  This is the reason why many people give up after they reach the blue belt level (the second belt in the adult system of progress).  Competition gets tougher, and as a result you must make changes in your life to accommodate for the challenges that BJJ will put you through.  If you are not willing to make these accommodations, chances are that you will quit training.  But if you are willing to change for BJJ, your quality of life will benefit from it.  When I began training at the age of 18, I was a cigarette smoker, drug abuser and notoriously known for drinking myself into blackouts almost every weekend.  Slowly though, I began to crave progress in my training and knew deep down that something had to give.  I quit using drugs, cut back on smoking and stopped drinking as much.  Now at the age of 24, I am no longer a cigarette smoker (for over 3 years now), drug free, rarely drink alcohol, married and recently graduated from college.  My life is substantially better, and it's not by "chance".  Remember what I said before, there is no "chance" in BJJ, and there is no room for deceit.
  3. It's an investment:  Training BJJ on a regular is not cheap. Period.  Between mat fees, buying Gi's (the uniform worn when training traditional BJJ), costs for competitions, doctor bills for minor/major injuries, gas to travel to the academy, time spent getting better, etc., IT ADDS UP.  However, what you gain from this cost is much greater than any dollar amount in my mind.  I have developed great mental fortitude, have built my confidence, have created a network of brothers and sisters who are just as strong-minded and dedicated as myself, and will ultimately achieve my black belt which I will be able to use to teach this art to other individuals beginning their journey in BJJ.  I will be able to give back to this art what it has given to me, and will be able to reap the financial benefits of teaching as well.  So it may be costly right now, but it's a minor investment in a major return.  

I'm sure some of you still won't understand my love and passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and that's alright with me.  Just know that it has made me the man that I am today, and could be beneficial to your life as well if given a chance.  For the people that do understand, see you on the mats!  OSS!!!

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