Why do Jiu Jitsu anymore? This question is posed to those who have been doing Jiu Jitsu for a long time, especially for those blue or purple belts. I received my purple belt about three months ago after training on Guam for three years as a blue belt. I came off a physical therapy from an ACL reconstructed surgery. I tore my ACL from a failed throw by my training partner. It was a big blow to stop, receive surgery and recover from it then keep going with the potential to injure it again. I would contemplate the “what ifs” scenarios. I was gun shy at getting back on the mats.
“I don’t want to not live, because of my fear of what could happen.”
-Riding Giants, Laird Hamilton
Top 5 reason to keep going
5. Its a perishable skill. If you have ever taken a break from Jiu-Jitsu, say a month or two, you notice that you skills, timing, flexibility, muscle memory is slightly off. Though at my level now to get back to my ability now I think it just takes 2-3 weeks of consistent practice to attain my level of where I left off. The important concept of growing as a person is keeping consistent. I’ve been taking extended breaks for most of my jiu jitsu journey. What if I kept consistent with it? Instead of taking a break for a month or two. Go once a week. It would keep your skills better than not going at all.
“We are all growing or dying, there’s no in-between.” -Tony Robbins
4. It keeps you humble. That feeling of being exhausted from trying to defend yourself competently from the relentless attacks from your partners. Sometimes you will get tapped. Sometimes a lower belt will submit you. Sometimes you don’t have enough strength to defend anymore. That feeling of defeat is a sobering one. It stays with you. It is not a good feeling. It is only a good feeling when you return from it. Redeem yourself and go back on the mats and train.
3. The ability to express yourself. Self expression is an immensely powerful tool for rehabilitation, meditation, and therapy. It is an art form though some people may not see it as such but Jiu Jitsu has the potential to be a vehicle of expression of your emotion and state of mind. If you are stressed out or concerned about life, rest assured that you can be submitted many times until you cannot think about what ails you. You can also work through it and be in place of meditation and focus that all the things the weigh you down are outside and not on the mats.
“In combative form the art of expressing the human body…to me, ultimately martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now it is very difficult to do.” -Bruce Lee
2. Make it Fun. Honestly if it turns into an activity you dread to go to then there is no point to do it anymore. There are ways to entertain yourself. Make a game out of it. In Jiu Jistu University, Saulo advised to try playing someone else’s guard style. That’s like doing an impression of someone. Impressions are funny when they’re dead on, they’re even awful when done bad. But still it’s fun. Play another person’s game other than your own, someone unorthodox like Nino Schembri, Eddie Bravo, or Eduardo Telles. The list can go on. There are many different styles and I don’t think enough is written about the subject.
“Sometimes I even tell my students, “Today you are going to be Pe de Pano, you are going to be Shaolin, and you are going to be Marcelo Garcia-play like that.”
-Jiu Jitsu University
1. Grind. It is a term I really learned on Guam. It means to keep going despite all things. Come to class as often as you can and put your gi on. Train hard and you will feel it in you muscle and bones. You will be tired and exhausted from training and your life. I can remember times when I was driving home and just felt at one with my body and soul. You may not see the change or feel it but when you put that kind of time and effort into something over a long period it will show results physically, mentally and spiritually.