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In a recent conversation, my mentor talked to me about the quality of patience. She explained how patience promotes much progress in all areas of our lives, if we allow patience the opportunity to do so.

I started thinking about how, if I applied this idea not only to my personal life but also to the world of martial arts, in particular Jiu-Jitsu, I would see improvements.

But how exactly how does one acquire the discipline in order to exercise patience regularly?

To begin with, I correlated this idea with relationships.

For example, when I feel pressure in a relationship, I push back by forcing my opinions or perspectives on the person with whom I disagree. When that happens, communication shuts down, leaving no room or opportunity for resolve.

This results in negativity, discouragement, and a sense of failure!

When I listen to the person rather than force my opinions on him or her, although I may still disagree, my patience has allowed for communication, and we find a resolution.

You may be able to relate to this and how easy it is to succumb to frustration, eagerness, and impetuosity. And you can probably also understand that the choice to be impatient was also unwise.

Rushing to force things to turn out the way we may envision them instead of allowing progress to gently unfold leads to discord, conflict, and possibly injury.

It’s especially easy for me to see this under the microscope of Jiu-Jitsu training. It shows up when I force myself into positions and moves that I may not be ready for.

However, slowing down my thoughts and using the ones that are indicative of patience, I am able to try these new moves because patience will reveal options that otherwise would remain hidden behind the cloak of human will and haste.

We may miss this invaluable insight because we are intensely focused on the end result of our training instead of the value of the training itself. We overlook the underestimated quality of patience that resides right within us.

I can’t help but think that patience leads to freedom.  And freedom, after all, is one of the many reasons why we practice these empowering martial arts. Yet if in training we do not embrace patience, then the very goal we seek, “the freedom to…” will become harder to achieve.

Without patience, we destroy the chance for freedom by pursuing it too vigorously, and we find ourselves frustrated, eventually abandoning our work altogether.

Any black belt would tell you that force can only get you so far on this journey. What’s needed is the gentle and consistent combination of alertness and patience.

Allowing passion to be driven by inspiration, disregarding time as a limitation, and letting patience do the work, you will become more refined, polished, and complete.

And though it is not easy to employ patience and hold to her steadfastly, it is essential if one wants to achieve greatness, in the practice of martial arts as well as in the practice of love.

I now believe that by allowing patience to master me, it brings mastery to the moments of all life’s training!

– Gene Dunn & Foundation of Love

For more about our larger project of cooperative Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts training, please visit the
Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Brooklyn BJJ) website here

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