What a great weekend of BJJ. Seen Jamie, one of my mentors, competitor and friend earn himself a well earned gold medal. A man who lives by the adage that you will be tested each and every time you step on the mat. Well mate, you were tested and came up with the goods, and done it by submitting some seriously skilled dudes!
Then, spent Saturday just being schooled in the art by Professor Julio Cesar Pereira. Had the pleasure of learning with my BJJ partner in crime, Taff. How cool it was just discovering, work-shopping and laughing as we inflicted some serious pain on each other!! Well over 12 years in and both of us still learning so much! BJJ, you gotta love the pain. You need to be able to harness it and use it as a motivator and a guide. Never as a deterrent or negative. Pain allows you to realise mistakes, make corrections and to applaud your partners skill.
Man, these guys show you stuff so fundamentally easy, it makes you wonder why you even need to be shown it. A turn of the hand here, a grip there. From a practitioner who started training in 1974, his final message was be a family. Every black belt that has visited our gym mentions that deeper need for family connection, and then comments on that we have that at the Arena.
It is the deeper level of trust that they can feel on our mats I’m sure. I have never felt unsafe, even in the roughest of rolls with the biggest of fighters. It is this trust that allows you to park your ego; the trust your partners is not trying to beat you, but to actually bettering you and themselves (and actually in that order!).
So for me at this stage of my journey, it is the recognition of friends achievements and the love of learning that keeps me on the mat. I don’t know if there is an answer to practice makes perfect, or if I even want perfect (whatever that is?). But what I do know is I want to grow old, rolling on the mats and at 90, be looking forward to the next technique with my mates (hopefully not there so I can test it out on them : ). That is my perfect!! You don’t need to find your perfect, but just enjoy the search.