There goes my hero
Do you want to make a significant impact on your life that you can’t even imagine is possible?
Do you want to make that same impact on the lives of those around you?
Do you believe in…this?
Of course you do!
If you’ve already started training, you’re already well aware of the power of the moves and techniques you are learning and that they as close to being a kick-ass SuperHero as you’ll get!
When trouble is around, the SuperHero finds a way to get in their costume (Superman went into a phone booth, Spiderman used his webbing to hold his camera and clothes in an alleyway, and Hulk………Hulk just ruined his clothes all the time.)
(SuperHero 101 Tip: This doesn’t mean you have to have a Gi ready to wear when trouble is around. But you might want to wear your rashguard under your regular clothes!)
When you train in a grappling-based sport like BJJ and wrestling, you will be revealing and developing character traits that have been hidden, lying dormant. Maybe they just needed some dusting off. These character traits are lessons by which to live a long, healthy life. When you make this kind of effort towards your self-development, you impact the lives of those around you.
Much like a SuperHero shows up to save the day, being a “SuperHero” means being someone that cares enough about themselves and those around them to make the most out of every moment together. You “show up” for yourself and for others.
Don’t gloss over the last sentence. Reread it. Let it sink in.
You enhance the quality of your life (i.e., your health, wealth, and happiness) that you enjoy. You live in the present for yourself and others. You give out positive and take in positive. It’s the greatest side effect you can have.
Magic pill? Yes, it is.
“When you know you can’t get beat up, you feel invincible. And when you feel invincible, you’re a better brother, you’re a better father, you’re a better businessman, you’re a better husband…you’re better at everything you do.” – Rener Gracie
Recently, I came across this great article written by Cael Sanderson. For those of you newer to grappling, Cael Sanderson went UNDEFEATED (159-0) in his National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) career. He is the only Division I competitor to do this who has over 100 career matches. Amazing is an understatement.
The article contains 10 reasons his children will wrestle. If you’ve been on your journey with BJJ, you’ll no doubt recognize correlations between his message and the experiences that have benefited countless Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.
Below is a summary and my perspective on each one.
Athleticism & Self-Defense
1. Foundation sport. My daughters will train Jiu-Jitsu and will also learn wrestling fundamentals. In fact, I’ve already started training my 8 year old when she was 7. She loves the Gracie Games from the Gracie Bullyproof program. Although you don’t need to use this specific program, I must say it is very easy to understand and adapt for kids. The major movements of Jiu-Jitsu are broken down into 10 easy to follow games (example below) and the Junior Combatives program. You can also send your kid to a martial arts academy that has a solid kids BJJ program. Also, you can enroll them in wrestling when they turn of age as Cael suggests. All options are good.
2. Self-defense. The fundamental reason BJJ exists is as a self-defense art. I highly recommend “Mastering Jujitsu” as a read to give you a history lesson on how the art evolved over time. I can also recommend Gracie Combatives as a good fundamental set of self-defense based techniques to learn the White to Blue Belt curriculum that is used for teaching Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. If you have progressed beyond these techniques, then we would have a different discussion, but for self-defense, this is a great start. (Note: I have no affiliation with these products. I’ve been a customer of both and make recommendations based on my own personal use of them)
Health & Well-Being
3. Fun. Much like wrestling, BJJ is a chess match on deep level. You use all of your faculties when you spar. I believe that any activity that engages multiple senses simultaneously is good for your overall well-being. It is likely one of the reasons so many Jiu-Jitsu practitioners also love to Surf. Battling the waves is not unlike batting a partner trying to sweep and submit you.
4. Exercise. BJJ is a way to fully include exercise and healthy eating into a lifestyle that will improve your overall health and performance. For exercise, training BJJ is one of the best calories burners out there. With or without a Gi, you will undoubtedly get a challenging workout.
5. Self-confidence. Every minute spent on the mats translates into hours of improvement that bleed into your life. The work that goes into putting in the time on the mat is not to be overlooked. The battle between self-doubt and confidence is one that BJJ allows you to face every time you train. As you improve, your confidence grows and your self-doubt fades away
6. Humility. Getting repeatedly submitted is a humbling experience. No matter your athleticism, strength, or size, when you get submitted by a smaller and physically weaker training partner, your ego gets bruised. However, the bruised ego will heal if you let it. The key is allowing the bruising to occur so that you can enhance your resiliency. This takes discipline and desire.
7. Respect. You gain immense respect during BJJ. You respect your training partners, your instructors, and the techniques you are learning. When you don’t have respect, your ego is in the way. When your ego is in the way, you can not learn. When you don’t learn you don’t have the opportunity to give out and earn respect.
8. Self-discipline. Repetition of drills, hard work, eating properly (Editor’s Note: trust me, you don’t want to drill knee on belly after a night of pizza) assembling your goals and workout program to better your BJJ; it all takes discipline. You will never reach your goals without discipline. It is the secret ingredient to success.
9. Roadmap to success. Your success inside the academy and your ability to put in the work needed to succeed is a huge indicator of your success in life. You’ll need to set goals, build a roadmap, and work hard. You are entitled nothing. You have to work for everything you earn.
10. Toughness. You don’t develop callouses without initial some discomfort. It takes a special person to enjoy the challenge of physical and mental fatigue and submission. Putting yourself through that is food for the soul. You’ll be a better overall person my facing challenges and overcoming them with your grit.
Up, Up and AWAY!
The greatest gift you can give someone you care about is to strive to live a life of virtue and demonstrate your self-worth, confidence, love and compassion in what you do. You’ll be setting an example for those around you, especially the future leaders of tomorrow; our children.
The Future. Choose Wisely.
Jiu-Jitsu gives you purpose.
Jiu-Jitsu gives you a life path.
Jiu-Jitsu will make you a BADASS!
Choose to be a SuperHero.