You hear it all the time, "Jiu-Jitsu saved my l
life." Sometimes you even see the tattoos.It's a saying that you will get used to hearing from just about everyone that sticks with the game.
And I'm no different.
I started as a boxer
. I'm old enough to have played in the game back before MMA
or muay thai was legal in the state so I got used to smokers and fighting on the rez *shudder*.
didn't come until years later when I held on to some short lived dreams of stepping into the cage. I have no wrestling or other grappling background so I knew I needed something.
On top of other things, I was working in a cubicle 50 hours a week and watching my mood get worse and worse as the days went on. By Friday, I didn't want to talk to anyone, not even my own wife.
Being on the mat changed that. It was my outlet, a way for me to get out the tension of the week and a great way for people to break bad news to me. Just like the saying in the movie Fight Club, after rolling
, the volume just got turned down in the rest of life, I could deal with anything.
But it's more than that. It went further for me. I started to get to know people in the game, not just in my own gym. I travelled to gyms, talked to the head instructors, got to know about the game itself, not just in my little corner. I started to find a voice that I didn't know I had.
I've been an introvert my whole life, quiet in school, not the kind of kid that really liked to be noticed. In BJJ I found myself, the person that I wish I had to courage to be earlier in life.
The fear in the rest of life drained away because I knew that when I was on the mat, I was free. I was the only one to control my own destiny. My mistakes were my own and only affected me. I found courage and motivation in my efforts and my pursuits. I learned to stand up and be accountable.
I became a better husband, a better son and I like to think it prepared me to be a good father.
You will learn a lot of things with jiu-jitsu
, far more than just passing guards or stringing together submissions. You will learn your character as a person (for better or worse). You can lie to yourself and everyone else as much as you want, but the mat will always find the truth in what kind of a person you