Competition in Jiu jitsu is a strange thing. We test ourselves on the mats daily, trying to push our skills and abilities beyond where it was yesterday. Being a practitioner and a professor I try to push myself and my students as far as they can… And then make them reach further.
I have not competed in almost 7 years, since I was a purple belt. Back then I was very unsure of my skills and was afraid to embarrass myself or my professor and school. But I decided this year that I would push myself to compete again. So here I am, having competed twice within a week. First in a state championship and then to the biggest stage possible, the IBJJF worlds masters, all the way on the other side of the country.
Now I didn’t win either one, but that wasn’t the goal. I wanted to test myself and my resolve. I needed to prove to myself that I was ready and that winning or losing didn’t matter. It’s about the experience and learning about who you are.
I found out more about myself over these past few days, surrounded by thousands of other competitors and jiu-jitsu fans. All the reservations and fears that I had were nothing more than baggage and weight I put on myself. So I left it behind and felt great.
What I discovered being out here, on my own, is that competition is 99% against yourself…your doubts and fears. The other 1% is waiting for you on the mat. I am relieved and humbled by the chance I took doing this. It is an experience that I will never forget. I met a lot of great people and saw what Jiu Jitsu is all about…family. We all come from different schools, backgrounds, lifestyles, but we are all united by our passion for the gentle art.