I started my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey about 8 years ago. I remember how excited I was to learn what looked like to me a very playful yet complex form of martial arts. I’ve been exposed to other disciplines as a kid such as Tae Kwon Do, Boxing and wrestling. However it wasn’t until my teenage years that I grew to find such a strong passion in Martial Arts and even more for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Like most boys growing up being “cool” was the thing when you were a teenager. I was hungry to be good at every sport that involved attention. The crowd and most importantly at the time, my “friends” good praises felt amazing. Not only was looking to be a star player or a top athlete at everything I did but I also wanted that popular factor outside the sports. To make this long typical bad guy gone good story short, I’ll get right into it. You can say I gave my friends, family and yes, parents a really difficult time. Much of which I learned to accept and not regret.
To keep my butt out of trouble, my parents finally felt it was time to officially enroll me in a Martial Arts school. I enrolled at Anderson’s Martial Arts Academy in July of 2005 and immediately I was in for a rude awaken. Finally a place were I can release physical energy and not allow it to stay dormant within, became a bittersweet relationship. A place that showed me no matter how “badass” I think I am or thought I was, there’s always people around to keep me in check. However these people became partners, formed into teammates and grew into a family. I found and grew to know not only some of the most dangerous people around but those very same people are the most humble, down to earth and inspiring human beings I’ve come across. Each Martial Artist has a story, some of which are similar tale yet they all have different experiences.
At Anderson’s Martial Arts Academy (AMAA), I studied Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Boxing, Muay Thai, Kali, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Being at the Academy and training martial arts really changed my insight on life and most importantly MY life. It gave me a path to a passion and a lifestyle I felt was drafted for me. Martial arts gave me that confidence but not that cocky, tough guy boost of ego confidence. No, that got beaten out of me, I’m talking about the confidence of understanding what is and what isn’t a real threat in a public situation. The confidence of being able to feel safe in my own personal space and surroundings.
Remember my behind getting into trouble, hey I was having an identity crisis in a neighborhood where neither side I felt a sense of safety or “belonging“. Enough with the tear jerkers, but anyway that guy was on his way to discover a new life. A new life inspired by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, not to give you a history lesson, I’ll save that for a post, is a form of martial arts that is considered to be the Gentle Art. BJJ uses joint locks, muscles compression, holds, chokes and throws in order to submit their opponent or attacker without the use of such devastating blows. Easy way to put it is something might break or someone might go to sleep. It wasn’t the fancy moves or super cool front roll submissions that invested me in BJJ, it was the philosophy and lifestyle of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that got me. It taught me how to slow down, how to feel, how to relax in a stressful situation especially when things don’t go my way. BJJ taught me to adapt to change, to focus on detail, technique and not brute strength or power. It made me show equal care and attention to all aspects of my body, mind and soul. Most importantly, it taught me to live in the moment and forget the past.
Everyone has a special passion and connection about someone or something. When we realize and embrace that gift we must honor it. What some would say, obey it. If it’s something you honestly believe in, makes you feel good, helps people, gives you happiness, brings you peace, makes you feel fulfilled and is something that you love, then friends you need to obey it. That is what the life of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has given me and although I am only a purple belt blogging about Jiu Jitsu, I’m proud to say I’m a purple belt who has been this much more inspired through the practices of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
I believe people want to be a part of things that makes them feel good. People by nature want to be surrounded by a good time. So know that when YOU’RE having a good time. You’re making someone else have a good time as well and that’s what I look to do here with you all. So enjoy my stories, quotes, videos, photos and all the other wonderful mysteries to come.
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