Updated: Oct 14
Much of the western world is governed by a Christian ethic which encourages the proper treatment of our neighbor. Nearly all disputes are handled with words, but when we cannot reconcile our differences linguistically, our mammalian nature typically responds with violence.
Thanks to the modern world, most of us have never known true violence. I haven’t. The only fights I have ever been in were in a cage in Atlantic city. But the fact that we have avoided these threats in the past is no insurance that we will continue to do so in the future.
Our world is shrinking. Technology is rapidly increasing our connection with others. As cultures continue to merge, ideologies will conflict as they seek to grab a hold within society. Our population is growing and the world’s habitable land is finite. We have more adults seeking work in a world which is increasingly automating labor. These are conditions for potential conflict.
But many of us have the tools to navigate this environment. With empathic embrace and constructive dialog, we can engage with one another in discussions which yield worthwhile fruit.
But not everyone is capable of, or willing to do, this.
There is a subsection of our population which does resort to violence to achieve their aim. None of us are immune to such encounters, as rare as they may be.
The training of Jiu Jitsu is learning a practical means of self-defense. Like car insurance, you hope you may never have to us it, but it’s good to have in times of adversity.
I believe the best benefits of our training extend beyond the mats and into our daily lives. Jiu Jitsu gives us the tools to solve problems and achieve goals as we constantly reinvent ourselves on our way to greater self-actualization. Jiu Jitsu, when used properly, can be a support system for the rest of our lives. But it can also save your life.
Jiu Jitsu is a martial art designed to give a smaller person the tools to defend themselves against a larger aggressor. In fight or flight situations, Archilocus was right:
“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
Then we had better have some training to fall back on.
I love Jiu Jitsu because of it’s complexity and the challenge it presents. I love the people it attracts, the friendships it builds, and the health benefits that will allow me to never step on a treadmill again. But I also love that Jiu Jitsu gives me the tools to safely defend myself and the people I love, on the off chance that I may need to.
As the old saying goes,
“It’s better to be a warrior in the garden than a gardener at war.”
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