The Regulars on the Mat

homeless-manThis week is definitely rough for me in terms of work, as many weeks over the past year have been, so I draw much needed mental rest from the exercise aspect of jiu jitsu. But somehow the most grounding and peaceful element of training is just seeing and interacting with the regulars who are always there. From white belt to black belt, these are guys who follow their passion for this sport, and so I think the comfort I get is from the fact that we’re completely on the same page about this one thing.

We are the hobos reclining outside the same Seven Eleven for years and years.

There are not many of us “regulars”.

Each is in various stages of their jiu jitsu journey: everything from training hard for an up-coming competition to exploring the deep philosophical implications of the added leverage from curling your toes up on a counter to a counter to berimbolo.

I especially like seeing the lower rank regulars (the category I comfortably reside in). We are the foolish dreamers of the bunch. It’s easy to be passionate about something that you’ve only been doing a couple years. You eventually hit a wall. Some regulars seem to disappear off the face of the earth at that point, and others barrel on through. Reality inevitably sets in, and us dreamers have to deal with the disappointments of failed expectations. Any journey involves failure along the way. The test of a “regular” is their ability to deal with failure when they are forced to acknowledge it. Many white belts and blue belts that train every day (or twice a day) for months will disappear. I understand that struggle. That’s life. I understand the people that go. But I think I’ll stick around…


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