I’ve been doing jiu jitsu for three years now. It’s humbling to think that tens if not hundreds of thousands of people are out there that have been doing it much longer than me. I am following along together and behind the crowd of a very interesting community of people. Introspection, aggression, and weird humor is all around me every time I step on the mat.
I remember Joe Rogan called jiu jitsu a “positive cult”. And I think he’s onto something. It’s good to be part of a cult or two. I’m currently a member of a couple: a local book club and a jiu jitsu / judo club. Those are two damn good choices for a cult. It helps me stay healthy, humble (relative to my usual asshole-self), and thoughtful.
Competition Goals for This Year
There’s winning and then there’s winning: I’ve been told by coaches and fellow competitors that “winning is winning”. For some reason my personality is such that the only time I remember feeling truly shitty after competing is when I won matches against tough opponents and didn’t go for submissions because I was concerned of losing. Win or lose, I want to leave every tournament this year knowing that I never “held on” to the lead, and always worked aggressively towards a submission. That’s what makes me proudest: not “winning” a jiu jitsu match, but giving everything for a submission. Too often I fail to drop my fear of failure, and pursue that sometimes-exhausting fight.
Judo: I want to put in a good full year of competition in judo. I’ve taken a few months off from regular judo training and competing, focusing exclusively on jiu jitsu and its wrestling-style stand-up game. But I love judo, both for it as a martial art and the friends I have in the judo community, so mixing it in with jiu jitsu is something that I want to do this year, and for the rest of my life,
Place of Martial Arts in My Life
As my work life grows in the breadth and number of exciting projects, I’m realizing that while jiu jitsu and judo can be a big part of my life, it will never be the main thing in my life. I enjoying my work too much to be one of the people that can’t wait to get in the gym as an escape from work. I’m lucky in that way, but also that means that I have to wrestle with the balance between work and training. I would like to find a better balance with it than last year, that I found to be too stressful too often.