Updated: Oct 14
Jiu Jitsu is more than a martial art with which to defend yourself; Jiu Jitsu is a tool with which to mold yourself.
The training of our character must rise in proportion to the comforts of our daily environment. The heavy cognitive and physical demand of Jiu Jitsu forces our students to grow in myriad ways, developing the character traits which will serve our children as they grow into productive, joyful members of society.
Below are three character traits which Jiu Jitsu most trains, which our younger population most needs!
In ancient Greece, Socrates was proclaimed to be the wisest man on earth by the Oracle at Delphi. After an exhaustive search to prove this assertion wrong, he failed; for he came to see that though he knew nothing, he knew he knew nothing, and was thus far wiser than his contemporaries, who were so full of the pride which education sometimes fosters.
Jiu Jitsu forces the cultivation of humility because it is so complex. The only way to improve, like anything in life, is to fail repeatedly. In order to develop skill in this discipline, one must come to the acute awareness of the limit of their education before reaching new heights.
This practice of auditing one’s weakness in the aim of transcending that weakness is the hallmark of the growth-mindset, a product of humility which will allow our youth to constantly strive toward their potential, on and off the mat.
“The heights by great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight,But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upwards in the night.”-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Jiu Jitsu embodies a barter system with our young students: the harder and more prolonged their efforts, the greater their skill development and subsequent enjoyment of their practice.
We’ve all heard of the “10,000-hour rule,” which states that mastery comes after that many hours of purposeful practice. Whether or not the number is true, the sentiment remains:
The skill we develop is proportionate to the sustained effort we put forth.
Jiu Jitsu is the perfect blend of difficulty and accessibility which fosters the continual growth of our students, teaching them the benefits of consistent effort over time. It is this ability which will allow them to daily work toward achieving their highest self throughout a lifetime.
We live in a meritocracy. Our culture rewards quality work, and the more skilled you are in a craft, and the more specialized that craft is, the greater one’s compensation will be for its completion.
Jiu Jitsu is a game of strategy, using leverage, timing, and intelligence to manipulate your partner to your will. Jiu jitsu is grounded in problem solving, with an immediate feedback loop which teaches us the validity of our hypothesis and actions, mid-training.
To excel in grappling, we are forced to become more efficient and effective, constantly pursuing these two metrics as an indication of how well we are performing this art. It is this pursuit which teaches our young students how to act most optimally in the world, a skill they bring to their classrooms, sports, and relationships.
Call To Action:
I am not yet a parent and so I cannot fathom the love of a parent for a child. Throughout my years as an instructor, I have seen the selfless devotion that so many parents have for their kids, putting their children’s needs ahead of their own. I will be a better father someday from this influence.
I don’t know much, but I know this: Jiu Jitsu gives us the tools to become better versions of ourselves. And that’s what living is: constantly acquiring new tools to better navigate circumstance.
In a world that is only making it easier to do that which does not serve us, we have never so needed a vehicle for personal development.
I have never met a child worse off for having trained Jiu Jitsu. I never will. Jiu Jitsu is too effective at eliciting positive behavior change, and a young child’s mind is too receptive to change, to not combine these two for a brighter future.
Whether at Matakas BJJ or a school near you, please consider taking advantage of Jiu Jitsu as a means of serving your child’s potential.
If you want to read Chris’s latest book on personal development, check it out here.
If you would like to be coached by Chris personally, click here.