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It’s More Than Just The Training – Friendships And Jiu-Jitsu

I felt compelled to write this post after a recent trip my wife and I took to Shellharbour, which is South of Sydney.  Back in 2012 we had lived there for a brief 6 month stint, and I was fortunate to make some good friends at the local gym of Groundworks MMA Centre Warilla.  On a recent trip back to Shellharbour for a quick getaway and to compete in the local tournament of the Wollongong Open we were absolutely taken back by the hospitality that was shown to us.

Firstly, our friend Matt went out of his way to make a 3 1/2 hour round trip to work in the city on the day we arrived so to help give us a lift to Shellharbour from the airport.  On the second day Matt again went out of his way to pick me up and take me to train with him and his teammates at Groundworks.  Craig, the head instructor of Groundworks, was very accommodating and we wound-up having a very fun and tough session.  On the third day Matt and another friend Adam picked us up and drove us to-and-from the tournament in Wollongong, they may have even shouted us a sneaky beer post-tournament.  On talking of the tortuous train trip my wife and I were to embark on the next day to get back to the airport Adam offered to drive us as he too was going there.  We were, and are, so grateful for the generosity these guys showed us, and this helped make our trip so much more smoother and enjoyable.

When at the tournament I was competing against another friend of mine Tony.  Tony and I had competed against one another many times before, and we have developed a strong friendship and respect for one another forged through our Jiu-Jitsu battles.  Whilst we are fiercely competitive when it comes time to step on the mats, we are very good friends off them.  This in itself made this tournament all that more enjoyable.

This here is just one example of the many friendships and the value of the friendships I have formed in my time in this amazing martial art/sport.  Funnily, I can recall times where my wife would say something along the lines of that I don’t have any friends anymore, or I don’t hang out with any friends, accusing me of spending too much time at the gym; I would reply that I am fortunate to hang-out with my friends every day that I go to training.  In fact, all of my current good friends I have met at Jiu-Jitsu.  

Jiu-Jitsu is a magnet for interesting people.  In our gym alone we have professional surfers, doctors, lawyers, builders, students, university professors, personal trainers, the list goes on.  The thinking nature of Jiu-Jitsu attracts a diverse range of people and so many fascinating minds, it is near impossible to not form some great friendships with people you would not typically associate with in your everyday life.

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art/sport that is so much more than just the physical and mental, it is more than just the training.  It is something that can add to your life in so many ways if you are open to it, and personally I am forever grateful that I have it in my life, and personally very grateful for the great people it has introduced into my life.


Thanks for reading and happy rolling,

Ryann Creary

Co-Owner at Flow Martial Arts

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