Jiu Jitsu opened up doors in my mind that public education had bolted shut. In hindsight, I see just how superficial my thoughts had been prior to this art. It is no coincidence that my efforts in reading and writing have run parallel with this craft. I began training Jiu Jitsu at twenty-two, and at the time of this writing I am about to turn thirty. I have learned more in the past eight years than the previous twenty-two, and have no doubts that Jiu Jitsu opened up my mind in a way traditional organized education never could. Jiu Jitsu gave me a life when I didn't know how to live. It is the best thing I have ever done, and is the foundation upon which all I will do.
Jiu Jitsu has given me an education in education, which I now see is the most valuable education there is.
Habits are infinitely more beneficial to the aspiring student than motivation. Motivation may get you started, but habits keep you going.
Just know that the achievement of anything grand takes consistent effort year after year. Motivation can uphold you intermittently, but it has too few calories to sustain a life.
Nothing feels dirtier than living a life that is not your own. No amount of money is worth my soul. I would rather be homeless and go out in a blaze of glory than subject myself to a slow and steady death of apathy and government by my environment.
Jiu Jitsu uses us to express itself, and the best thing we can do to is to become a vehicle capable of expressing Jiu Jitsu with all of its perfection minus our imperfections.
I firmly believe that life will continually try to teach you the same lesson, with increasing pain, until you heed the call.
Jiu Jitsu forges friendships in a way I’ve never known. Being involved in an art as intimate as this, where bodily connection is a must, the common cultural boundaries of personal space are broken. You will never see more hugs, high fives, and physical expressions of love than on the mats. Ultimately, this proves to be one of the most fulfilling aspects of our pursuit of mastery. Along the way, we learn to love others as we love ourselves.
Through Jiu Jitsu I have developed many of the most meaningful relationships in my life, and if that were the only benefit of my practice, Jiu Jitsu would still be the best endeavor I have ever undertaken.
Relationships formed through Jiu Jitsu are deeply rooted in respect for one another, and this is often not the case in matters of modern society.
Jiu Jitsu provides a place of fellowship that, unfortunately, our society has largely failed to create.
It is fellowship, this most fundamental need on our way toward achieving our highest expression of the human experience, which Jiu Jitsu provides.
This is the opportunity the fellowship of Jiu Jitsu affords us. To reach our highest potential of self, and then to offer that self to another.
As far as our relation to the physical world, I doubt there will be much more improvement. Our basic survival needs have been met, and much of our current progress is superfluous or downright troublesome. Most advancement is performed out of comfort rather than necessity. What we are lacking, what the world so desperately needs now, is adjustments of the mind. We need to see the world again with fresh eyes, and come to an understanding of who we are as individuals, and what drives us.
We see that the vast majority of our suffering is needless, and simply arises from the misidentification with our thinking mind.
I envision a world in which the vast majority of us are actively striving toward our potential by serving others through mediums we are most passionate.
When you realize you are no longer made of glass, you lose the desire to demonstrate that fragility in others.
We are force-fed beliefs through incessant advertisements by a culture that ceaselessly fosters our conformity to values which are of no service to the individual.
We are now forced to actively pursue our struggles. If we do not go out of our way to stretch our comfort zones and grow, no one nor nature will do it for us.
When you give your weakness permission to be because you understand that it is simply an expression of your strength, it tends to no longer be a weakness.
The point of meditating is not to learn to sit quietly in a room. The point is to live that way in the world.
The major events in our lives receive the entire spotlight, but ultimately your life will be defined by the same handful of choices you make each day.
There is an undeniable truth that as one progresses further in his understanding of a craft the rest of his life progresses along with it. This symbiotic relationship between all things is experienced on a daily basis, but rarely articulated through conscious thought.
As an instructor, my goal has always been to use Jiu Jitsu as a vehicle to help our students achieve their goals, whatever the case may be. I have yet to find a better vehicle for growth, and the moment I do I will certainly pursue it with the rivaled fervor that I approached Jiu Jitsu.
I can think of no more worthwhile aim than pursuing mastery in this craft while transcending one’s own limitations.
I am a better son, brother, friend, and teacher because of the daily sacrifice and effort I put toward my craft. WIth all the advantages modern society has created, it has left us wanting. We no longer need to struggle to survive. Our basic needs are now met with minimal physical strife or mental challenge. Technology and the advances of man have left us over-stressed and under-performing. We are now forced to actively pursue our struggles. If we do not go out of our way to stretch our comfort zones and grow, no one nor nature will do it for us.
Devoting yourself to a particular art is invaluable. The art becomes our vehicle with which we drive down the road of life. We use this vehicle to learn about ourselves and this place, to conquer fears, to become more of what we already are. In my own life, I have found most valuable the transferable skills of learning from jiu jitsu to all other facets of day to day study. In devoting myself with such commitment to this art, in undertaking the task of understanding jiu jitsu to whatever degree by circumstance allows, I have unknowingly learned how to learn.
I would more appropriately define mastery as the technical ability possible within the constraints of your particular existence.
Thoreau and Huxley calmly state what I have spent years trying to articulate, and never found the words for doing so. To read the words of these great men is to read the highest expression of my very self which is inexpressible due to the shortcomings of my particular nature.
Quotes tell a story. A stringing together of a few words can leave you with an idea that changes the course of your life, and can direct you toward reaching your highest potential as a human. The story they tell is derived from the experience which inspired them, and it is our sharing that experience that allows for the quote to resonate so deeply within our being.