Nobody cares if I’m hurt, tired, overtrained, or just carrying a lot of difficult thoughts on my mind. I step on the mat, and the story of my day becomes irrelevant. That’s the beauty and the melancholy truth of training. The bond that brings us all together is the challenge of the judo / jiu jitsu game. What happens off the mat is a kind of side story that when shared just kind of goes in one ear and out the other. I feel a sense of brotherhood, but of the quiet kind. Where the obvious difference in background, character, and life-style melt away in the face of a common passion for the game.