Many people leave their training for many different reasons – they were embarrassed rather than mentored, they got edged out by an antagonistic environment, they’re matched with a teacher who cares more about what they can do for him than what he can do for them.
To quit something that’s good for you, like Jiu-Jitsu or the martial arts, you better have a compelling reason. This is not quitting smoking or junk food, where we can all agree that leaving it behind is a good idea no matter your reason.
We’re talking about something that – when you’re in the right place, the right community – provides you with a chance for real growth as a person. Not only does it present real solutions for uncertainty and anxiety in our day-to-day lives, but it allows us to become students of ourselves in a very real way. We can look at who we are in total – our relationships, our self-concept, our world-view – and then chip away to get closer to who we want to be in the world.
I saw a former student on the street – a young guy, someone I
He said, “Well, some people I had been training with had left the school, so I started thinking that things had changed. I thought that since they had left, then I should probably leave also.”
I said, “Wow – that’s a pretty radical leap.”
In that moment, I had a flashback to when I was a kid and everybody bought a pet
Then that rock sat on the shelf and people stared at it. Eventually it became a symbol of regret – people looked at it and asked themselves, “why did I do that?”.
I believe that often when people encounter something that asks them to grow or change, they hide from themselves by following the crowd. They make excuses or find something convenient to hang their decisions on, but they don’t really explore why they’re uncomfortable.
For instance: how many people are there in the world who used to do Jiu-Jitsu who aren’t even sure exactly WHY they’re not training any more?
Like with the pet rock, the ebb and flow of the crowd can pull us into deep waters. Just because everybody’s
So back to our student. It was clear that “everybody was doing it” wasn’t his actual excuse, so I went a little bit further
He said, “well, some of the some of the new blue belts aren’t serious as
I asked, “Isn’t that an opportunity to help
I could see him begin to fidget. Once he was out of
It’s why things seemed so dead-end to him. He had chosen to turn his back on the problem than look for a solution.
What we know through our training is that the solution isn’t a straight line. It is always changing because we are always changing.
Our solution is the outcome of our confrontation with ourselves, our past, other people. And it is totally OK to take small steps towards the resolution, just so long as we never give up.
The lesson in this conversation is: if the reason you quit Jiu-Jitsu was because you stopped holding yourself to a high standard, what would happen if you understood that what was important was your progress, your process, rather than a fixed end-result?
It’s why our emphasis on progressive growth in the classroom is so strong. Because it is possible to return to the challenge of working on your weaknesses without feeling like a failure.
Now, if you’d rather quit than face the challenges, that’s your
If you’d prefer to run than to stick it out, then do that and accept everything that comes with it. But understand that it is incompatible with Jiu-Jitsu and the martial arts. What is compatible is holding one another to a high standard and then getting closer and closer to that standard.
We believe in using Jiu-Jitsu as a method
For more about the collaborative, cooperative model of Jiu-Jitsu, visit the Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu site here.