The Art of Control and Patience
In Jiu-Jitsu, one of the fundamental skills is learning to control and submit an opponent using leverage and technique rather than sheer strength. Similarly, in life, we are often faced with circumstances that are beyond our control. By embracing the ideals of Jiu-Jitsu, we can learn to navigate these situations with patience, composure, and adaptability.
I am starting to appreciate that there is plenty in this world that I can not directly control. While that often frustrates me, I need to focus on what I can influence – and channel my energy into that rather than worry about things I cannot. Otherwise, I waste my limited energy on something that no amount of fretting and worrying about will change. What skills can I learn or apply to my life, and how can I adapt and refine those I already have? Where is my leverage point?
The Power of Mindfulness
Jiu-Jitsu teaches us the importance of being present in the moment. By focusing on our breath, body movements, and the subtle nuances of our opponents, we train ourselves to be more mindful. This mindfulness can be carried over into our daily lives, helping us to be more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Being fully present allows us to make better decisions and respond effectively to our challenges.
Now is the only place in time when I have a direct influence. I can’t change the past; the future is only a concept. Right here, the singularity is where I can shape and form my life. I can only engage with those around me right now, as this is the space we all co-inhabit in our lives.
Embracing Failure as a Catalyst for Growth
In Jiu Jitsu, as in life, failure is an inevitable part of the journey. Every practitioner has experienced setbacks, tapped out, and made mistakes. However, the beauty of Jiu-Jitsu lies in its capacity to turn failure into a catalyst for growth. By embracing our failures, we become resilient, learn from our mistakes, and evolve on and off the mats.
Every day, I try to suck a little less. The idea of slow but constant improvement has taken over from a drive to ‘be the best’. Sometimes, day to day, I don’t see movement, but I need faith in the process, and now and then, I check in and realise I have shifted and improved quite a lot. Every failure is simply one less I need to make on the path to success.
The Importance of Collaboration and Community
Jiu Jitsu is not an individual sport; it thrives on collaboration and establishing a solid community. Training partners work together, support, and push each other to reach new skill levels. In life, cultivating meaningful relationships and relying on the support of others can make all the difference. We learn to appreciate a collective effort’s strength and a united community’s power.
We are all journeying and learning together. My training partners, my teachers, and those who start after me are simultaneously on unique and joined paths. By giving to our partners, we receive back.
Adaptability in the Face of Uncertainty
In Jiu Jitsu, opponents constantly change positions, apply different techniques, and present new challenges. Similarly, life is full of uncertainties and unexpected twists. Practising Jiu-Jitsu teaches us to adapt and respond effectively to ever-changing situations. We become more comfortable with uncertainty, more open to new ideas, and more resilient when faced with adversity.
Indeed, Jiu Jitsu teaches you to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Both physically and mentally, I am learning that despite the circumstances I find myself in, I need to take a breath or two, compose myself and decide what my next course of action is. Even when you have a behemoth of a man kneeling on your chest, there is a way out; you need not to panic, then decide and act on a course of action.
The Journey, Not the Destination
Lastly, Jiu Jitsu teaches us to embrace the journey rather than solely focusing on the result. It encourages us to enjoy the process, to savour each step of the way, and to find joy in the practice itself. We often get caught up in chasing goals and results, forgetting to appreciate the present moment. Jiu-Jitsu reminds us that true fulfilment is pursuing growth, self-improvement, and personal development.
It’s not about your rank, your belt colour, or for me, even if I can ‘beat’ my opponent. It’s about being fully present, giving it all I can, and learning more about my limits, mentally and physically and directly growing them.