2.12.09

Free the Mahi Mahi: BJJ as a vehicle for enlightenment


How do you view your training? Is it a sport to you? Is it an Art? Is it perhaps both? I think the vast majority of BJJ / Grappling players are in it for reasons past the very obvious self-defence aspects. To me it’s a life style, but not just in the sense of the sport (gi, no gi, MMA...etc.), the auxiliary exercises (conditioning, yoga...etc) or even the friends I have made along the way. As grateful as I am for all the above, to me, BJJ / Grappling is more still.

I can’t stop thinking about BJJ. It’s in everything I do and the principles of the art have come to colour everything I do, touch or read. For many years I have toyed with many philosophies. In the nineties it was Taoism and earlier this century (how cool is that saying!) I was really into Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. At the moment, Buddhism is calling my name. Anyone who knows me will tell you, however, that I’m not really that hung up on the –ism itself. I strongly believe that someone could exemplify a principle perfectly without having ever heard of it. I'm into the ideas behind the -isms, not the trinkets.

I like to test ideas and BJJ / Grappling is my testing grounds. Let me give you a couple of examples: Marcelo Garcia talks about something that, to my ears, screams of Karma in his Fightworks Podcast interview. He talks about how he needs to test himself and better himself and how he sees sharing his knowledge with others as a way to do that.
At the same time, there is a lot of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism in BJJ / Grappling: An A is an A and it cannot be anything else at the same time. There is a right way to perform an armbar* and a wrong way.

How about the rest of you Part Time Grapplers out there? Do you see your BJJ / Grappling as a vehicle for personal development past the obvious physical side? I would love to hear your take on this.
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*Conceptually and fundamentally, not stylistically. Here is the best explanation I’ve seen of this idea.

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