Hello brothers and sisters in the BJJ communtiy!
We’re back with part six of our series on “Ten Ways Jiu Jitsu Can Help With Stress Relief”. Today we will share our views regarding one of the most impactful elements of a successful Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy, in our opinion, that will not only improve the quality of your life but the lives of everyone around you as well. What we’re talking about is POSITIVITY! Sounds too good to be true? Maybe if you haven’t been around positive people. When you are, it is much easier to feel motivated and driven towards your goals due to the energetic attitudes that will encourage you to do more for yourself. That is why it is so important to choose your friends and the people who make up your social group wisely because they directly affect your mood and the way you feel. Positive people are characterized as the uplifting types who go out of their way for you and the people around them versus dragging you down into their pit of despair. We are all familiar with at least one person who brings enrichment to our lives. Perhaps it is a family member or a friend whose presence alone brings your life value. It is far beyond material needs, it is the laughter, the smiles, the encouragement and good feeling that they bring everywhere they go. What not many people know is that the BJJ community is full of these types of people who radiate happiness due largely to the many benefits they receive from the journey of Jiu Jitsu that has them feeling at their best physically, mentally and spiritually. Part of this is also due to the people in Martial Arts who helped shape them, their Sensei, Professor, fellow students or someone who might have gotten them involved in the art. The effects of Jiu Jitsu are so transformative and powerful, some of the people can be unrecognizable compared to when they first started. Maybe they were overweight, bullied, had inferiority complexes and many of the various struggles we share, yet Jiu Jitsu has armed them with confidence, purpose, health and most importantly, a community of supportive, like-minded people with the mission of improving themselves each day.
As a Sensei, one of the first things you must learn in the academy or school, is the importance of going out of your way to be welcoming and kind to visitors and prospective students. This is for a number of reasons:
- Most people entering the academy for the first time are intimidated, and for good reason. You could never know what sort of crazy person lies behind the academy doors, especially if they possess black belt skills. Your attitude should be kind and humble, if you are confident in your abilities you know you have nothing to prove.
- You never know what sort of experiences or trauma a visitor is bringing with them. They could have been bullied, assaulted, or victims of a crime who fought valiantly to muster the strength to walk through your academy doors.
- Be friendly and accommodating. There is no need to act tough, your skills will be shown on the mat or in tournaments. Additionally, being a skilled grappler does not translate to being a good teacher.
- Some of the most unlikely people to join are the ones who end up committing to the journey and continuing it all the way to black belt, so it’s important to treat everyone with equal respect and kindness.
- Once you view yourself as a Martial Artist, you must exemplify the character and attributes that come with such great power.
- Your job is to encourage others towards being their best selves, this is only possible by striving to bring a good attitude into the academy each day.
- It’s bad for business to treat anyone inside or outside of your business poorly!
The list goes on, but those are a few of the reasons we go out of our way to create a welcoming vibe and atmosphere for the students. We understand that students not only work very hard every day but have their own personal problems and struggles that we all face daily. The Jiu Jitsu academy or school should be a place that students want to come to learn, train, laugh and feel better about themselves to escape from the stresses of that day. A teacher once told me, “everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about”, and it is true. When you go to a good academy the instructors and other students are genuinely happy to see you there because they understand that you did the hardest part which was show up. A good academy will make you feel like you are the best part of their day.
One of the greatest plagues of today’s world is the access we have to negativity, especially through our technological devices. It is not very hard to start surfing the web and get caught up in what one celebrity said to the other, how Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s trial is going and what Jake Paul got in trouble for. Although the purpose of much of what we see online is to entertain, how does it leave you feeling? Is it improving your life in some way? Are you growing closer to the people you want to in life? The answer most of the time is NO! How many followers you have on Instagram doesn’t improve any aspect of your life (not for most people anyway) and if it does, is it worth the toxicity that comes with it? Probably not.. Not like being around quality people who are working to improve their lives and genuinely want to see you succeed. When I was younger, it made me happy to win tournaments. Now that I am a sensei, it is even more exciting to see my students or fellow training partners achieve success. That has little to do with my attributes but rather that it is the ethos of Martial Arts culture and brotherhood or sisterhood. Additionally, from a psychological perspective, we all desire respect and love, control over our decision making along with the need to be connected to something greater than ourselves. With a good Jiu Jitsu academy, you sweep the card. Jiu Jitsu allows you to be creative and adapt your skills for your body and your personality (decision making), your efforts are rewarded by stripes and belts along with the admiration of your peers (respect and love), on top of that you belong to a community whose mission is to positively affect lives by continuing to grow and develop themselves. That is why Martial Arts has been around for thousands of years and will never go away, because of the empowerment that exists for everyone who is willing to commit to the journey and put in the time it takes to transcend into a version of themselves which oftentimes was never thought possible. While sports can also possess this component of bringing people together to work towards a shared goal while learning to push your physical and mental limits, it can often over emphasize winning. While competition and developing a competitive mindset is important for success in life, learning to develop yourself through the process is the most important. Finally, the most important aspect of it all is to have fun, because the journey is long and challenging but it is ultimately for those who are willing to pay the price for long enough to reap the rewards. Make sure not to be too hard on yourself and keep showing up as hungry and eager to learn as the first day! You will get there in no time and have a blast forming relationships with some great people along the way.