Jiu Jitsu And Keeping Up With The Joneses
Today I am struggling to write this blog. I have been thinking of a subject matter to write on for near 30 minutes. Usually I will see something during my time at the Academy or in viewing social media that will trigger a blog topic for that week, I will start writing, and something will form from there. But this week I am really struggling. I try not to write negative blogs, trust me I have a lot of ideas for negative blogs, but I don’t like the energy that gives out to the Jiu-Jitsu Community, and there are too many positives in the Jiu-Jitsu world to waste my energy on the negatives. But this blog is pushing toward the negative, well not so much the negative, but more so taking the advisory path.
Having sat on the sidelines for near 4 weeks I can honestly say I am burning inside to get back to some Jiu-Jitsu training. Everyday I am sitting on the side of the mats watching our Team go through the motions; they are progressing, improving in their technique and understanding of Jiu-Jitsu, they are working hard and at the same time enjoying themselves. I love to watch this, but there is a burning in me to get on the mats and share this with them. Every now-and-then I will jump on the mats, try to demonstrate a move or try a technique, my knee will tweak in a painful way, and frustratingly I will sit back on the sidelines. Every morning I am waking up to the social media explosion of Jiu-Jitsu related videos and topics on my news feed. If you are reading this you likely know what I mean, 90% of your news feed will be Jiu-Jitsu and 10% those less important life happenings (jokes). But, even whilst injured I still enjoy being immersed in this lifestyle and around these people.
This has been a good time for our business also. On injuring myself I knew I had to focus my usual energies spent on training, Jiu-Jitsu, and competition into another area. Being a new business owner, focusing on our business was the obvious path. When you are always training it is easy to neglect other aspects of your life, and this injury has turned out to be a a positive influence in the progression of our Academy at Flow Martial Arts.
I can’t say my mindset has been completely positive however. Facebook and social media can very much distort your mental trajectory. Prior to this year starting I had already set myself goals, both in the life arena, the competitive arena, and in the business arena. I will not talk of my personal life goals for this year as they are obviously of a private nature; but my intended business goals for this year were to firstly work on the building of our Team at Flow Martial Arts and really seeking to create a positive community/training environment for our Team. Secondly, I still enjoy competing. I turned 32 this year, whilst not old I am no longer young either, especially in the athletic sense. I am completely aware of my position in the competitive Jiu-Jitsu world, and my goal was to keep my foot in the door, but compete in fewer tournaments this year as compared to the past few years. Five being the number I had set for myself. Now if I am to look at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year I would honestly have to say I am in the process of achieving them. Our business and Team is growing day-by-day, and I have competed in 2 tournaments so far and still have another 9 months to compete in 3 more. But regardless, being injured and sitting here on the sidelines I am finding myself to be very anxious and restless. I should be feeling calm, content, and somewhat accomplished, but I am far from it. With a little introspection and in thinking of some words spoken to me from a former Jiu-Jitsu Coach of mine, I know why….
I am getting sucked-into an ideal, and into goals that are not my own. Watching Facebook and other social media everyday I am constantly being bombarded with images and narratives of this person achieving this, this person winning this competition, this person travelling to train in this exotic place, the list goes on. Naturally like all humans I start to compare my situation with theirs. I get sucked-into their goals and path. My internal dialogue is something like this, ‘Ah man, that person is competing in every tournament, I should be too…That person is training in the States, I should be training in the States also…That person is….’ We all make these comparisons in our general life also, ‘Ah man, that person has bought a house, I should buy a house too…That person is travelling overseas, I should be travelling overseas also….’ The list goes on-and-on. On top of this there is also the ideal we create around our interpretation of the authentic Jiu-Jitsu path or lifestyle. For example, the ideal of being that strong fit specimen of a human, travelling the world competing, and living a healthy/simple lifestyle. But what I am doing here, and many of you also, is losing sight of our own personal goals, and similarly the enjoyment of achieving such goals. We are instead being drawn-into and confused by goals of others and the unrealistic ideals we create around these things. And from my experience this can be very anxiety provoking, and can cause us to miss enjoyment through celebration of achievement of our own small victories.
So here is some advice. Know your goals and repeat them to yourself regularly. Make sure your goals are realistic also. Be very wary of seeing yourself in the goals of others, or unrealistic ideals you create around things. Social media, whilst being an amazing tool for human communication and education, can also be very damaging if you are unable to distinguish between reality and the manufactured reality people create through these internet forums. Always be conscious that what you see on social media is the sugarcoated version. And most of all make sure you enjoy your journey, and your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrate these things for what they mean to you to have achieved them. Absolutely do not rob yourself of enjoyment due to being caught up in someone else’s path.
When I truly think of it, I am quite happy at the moment. Whilst I am a little limited in doing the things I wish due to my injury, I am still fortunate to be able to spend my days at this point in my life in an environment (the martial arts Academy) where I want to be. And whilst I am out of competition at the moment this is OK; my goal was never to be a world beater anyways, my goal was always to open an Academy and share something I am truly passionate about with others. When I remind myself of the path I set for myself it is much easier to enjoy the journey.
Thanks for reading and happy rolling,
Co-owner at Flow Martial Arts