A Letter to Our Students and Parents: Reflections on Our In-House Tournament

Updated: Feb 12

To all the young students who competed this weekend,


I am proud of each and every one of you. You showed great effort and persistence while competing, humility in victory and grace in defeat. It was an emotional day for most of us.


I was most proud that you when you met adversity, when things were not going your way, you pushed forward. I did not see a single student quit amid the challenges they were facing. This was the greatest victory of the day, and the most valuable part of the experience: just like in Jiu Jitsu, when life presents us with challenges, we keep pushing forward.


You each allowed yourselves to be vulnerable in the pursuit of your goals, putting yourselves on center stage with all eyes watching. You responded to such a challenge heroically, calling forth your best skills and inspiring all of us to confront the day’s challenges with the sincerity you taught us on Saturday.


I, and all of the coaches, are proud of you!

To the Parents,


Thank you for your continued support of the program. The constant cheers (and often for kids who aren’t your own) showed the quality of community we’ve built. Many of the kids got emotional from the intensity of the day, but we gave them the invaluable opportunity to work through that emotion on a big stage, surrounded by people who love them. To see how the kid’s held and consoled each other was truly special.


Saturday reminded me of three things:


  1. The best thing we can do for these kids is to continually challenge them to call forth their best selves amid purposeful struggle, treating them as the hero on their own journey and manufacturing the resistance their development needs.

  2. We should practice the same courage that our kids showed on Saturday. We’re all afraid to risk failure and be seen as foolish, so we very often do not put ourselves in positions of vulnerability. The kids trophies have a Tony Robbins quote on them:“All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone.” I hope we follow the example set by our little ones this Saturday and challenge ourselves as we find novel ways to step outside of our comfort zones and become more.

  3. And finally, that what we do inside the academy walls is a truly special thing. We have created an environment that calls forth the best in each other, that simultaneously challenges our kids while making them feel extremely safe. I am grateful to each and every parent for helping create such a beautiful atmosphere. Together, we have created an academy of basic training for life skills.


Congrats to all who competed. Thank you to the parents for using Jiu Jitsu as a tool in the development of your child. And thank you to our amazing coaches who selflessly serve our young students so that they may have the mentors they deserve.


With Gratitude, and looking forward to continuing to grow together,


Professor Chris

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