Got 99 problems & Jiu-jitsu Ain’t ONE!

There’s this awful buzzing, buzzing, buzzzzzing… oh yeah, it’s the alarm clock. Hit snooze. It goes off again. Hit snooze. It goes off again. Hit snooze; oh you get the idea! The early morning blues, blahs, doldrums! Can’t seem to get out of bed and get going; the weight of the world is on your shoulders, or maybe you were up late watching anime (or BJJ dvds, mmmm, be honest!), overtime for work, family obligations, just feeling lazy or dagnabbit, maybe you just want a day to yourself! I understand, honest. There are some people who just have this, thing. This early morning chipper I can get up and go, thing! I know some of these people; I love them and hate them all at the same time. I do not live in their universe of birds singing and broadway dancing and skipping at five am. That universe exist on some other plane that I cannot access. For reallllll! I think these people are few and far between anyway. Don’t get me wrong! I am a happy-go-lucky kind of person, and it will probably make you want to puke- this Pollyana-esque personality but at five am no way.

Which brings me full circle to our alarm clock buzzing, the snooze button, and facing the day head on. For the most part, Can we really complain? I don’t want to delve into politics or the crumbling ecosystem, our failing education, workforce etc. My goodness man, I’m a simple person on here talking to ya about jiu-jitsu… We have a roof over our heads, and if you’re training jiu-jitsu then we can’t really complain, can we?
99 problems? I’ll admit I was driving by that restaurant… you know the one with that catchy jinglejangle, and that jinglejangle kept circling round and round and round my head. And I thought, where would I be if I didn’t have jiu-jitsu; my teammates, my little world that consists solely of sweat and drills and rolls and training? I’m certainly active outside of jiu-jitsu, and I always have been. But there’s something about walking thru those academy doors. Almost a stripping of the outside world. The only thing that exists while you’re in class is you, jiu-jitsu and that moment. Too much? Too existential for the person who has to drag themselves out of bed to face the day AND drag themselves to jiu-jitsu? Well then, ask yourself this? Why? If you drag yourself there and feel as though it’s another chore added to your list, WHY do you do so? BJJ isn’t easy. It’s mentally and physically challenging. The reward is intrinsic; you don’t take a test and see a grade of 100%. You have to humble yourself, let go of your ego, and open your mind to being less. And in doing this you allow yourself to become more. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is many things, because for every person who trains it means something different; it provides something different; fulfills something within them that is indescribable to another.

Not everyone competes or is hungry or a medal chaser; not everyone has the drive to be better than that guy or gal; not everyone wants to know a choke or a way to break (potentially) a limb… you could hit the gym, go running, read a book or bake a cake; you could hang with your homies, nap on the couch or take the dog for a walk; go grab a brewski, play Call of Duty or answer another Candy Crush request. Nah you say? Exactly. You may have 99 problems, give or take a few. But I’m pretty sure BJJ is not on that list. Nope, 99 problems, but BJJ ain’t one.

Jiu-jitsu puts you completely in the moment where you must have a complete focus on finding a solution to the problem. This trains the mind to build that focus, to increase your awareness, your capacity to solve problems. Sometimes, you don’t have to win. You cannot win. But that has nothing to do with losing. Rickson Gracie


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