Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You Vs. Time

BJJ is a great reminder about time. There's many great lessons I learn from BJJ that I apply to life. When people ask me why I train or what I want out of it, its hard to explain. BJJ now to me is a series of abstract movements. If I mastered all these movements, I don't know what I would be. In that community I would be regarded highly but the rest of the world wouldn't take much notice. What a lot of us Jiu Jitsu players don't realize, and it took me a long time to realize is, it's all gibberish. It's all just moves that you can't really use anywhere else. Some of it you can use for self defense or fitness but now there are so many moves, most of them have no application outside of the training hall or competition.

But then...when you unfocus your gaze on the moves, and just look at the overall picture, or in BJJ terms, just try to feel it, you will understand all the concepts it is trying to teach you. It's all the unspoken intent in BJJ. It's probably why Rickson sounds like such a mystic when he speaks about his art. When you see it in that way, there is so much you can learn from it. So then if someone is better than me at these moves or can tap me out, that's not what's important to me. What's important is how much of it I can walk away with and apply it that day to my life. So ever person who taps me out teaches me a great deal. Every person who shows me a detail teaches me. My teachers teach me in all the moments in between their words and phrases.

What I am learning these days from BJJ is that every day I am playing chess. But not chess with any one person or persons. I am playing chess against time. Every time I procrastinate, every time I hesitate, wait, or get scared to act, time takes another one of my turns. Its a game of chess where time has the ability to take their turn and take my turn for me.

I think about this when I am sparring with someone. I think about a move, I have it. I wait to do it. I am waiting for the right moment, the right time, maybe smoke signals, or a sign from God. I wait. It literally is about 1 second of waiting but in my mind it feels like an eternity and I waited too long and my opponent has advanced on me. Still not too late, I think of my next move. Key word is thinking, not acting or doing. It's not that my opponent is moves ahead of me, it's that while I am thinking of things, he is just doing it. Because that's what he's been trained to do. Whether he does that outside of class in every aspect of life, I don't know.

It's what I now train myself to do. Every day I try to do Jiu Jitsu whether I am in class or not. I hesitated and once lost over 10,000 dollars in the stock market. I waited to start my strength training business and lost years of opportunity and money. I should have stopped watching so much BJJ and started just listening to BJJ years ago.


  1. Just yesterday I was thinking to myself about how I need to work on my bad habit of thinking too much and hesitating. Funny that I came across this blog the next day.

    And I agree, that so many of the lessons that BJJ teaches you transfers to real life. I couldn't tell you exactly why I love Jiu Jitsu, but I know that I do and it consumes 99% of my thoughts. It definitely teaches you lessons about life. About not hesitating, about being calm and peaceful in difficult situations, about hard work and dedication, and about giving your time to learn something that requires a long time to learn.

    Good post. I enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thanks Nick. Hopefully I can write other things of interest for you.



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