When I am a parent, my kids will train Jiu Jitsu because a maturing human being needs to purposefully meet resistance to optimally develop.
Life in America, for most of us, is better than it’s been in any other time period or location in human history. Our culture has done a fantastic job of providing for our most basic needs, but without struggles to overcome, an individual misses on the opportunities to develop the strength which the conquering of struggle requires.
“Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness.”- Dean Karnazes
The evolution of a child to an adult is a movement from dependency to responsibility. This is a slow, gradual development in which the child learns to cultivate his or her own strength so as to become less reliant on the strength of his or her parents.
If we do not give our children appropriate struggle, that fundamental leap from dependency to resolve will never occur. Our society’s problems with “millennials” demonstrates what happens when a culture removes the rituals and rites of passage which guide from youth to maturity: 30 year old children complaining that the world will not attend to their needs, because they never learned to do it themselves.
When our society fails to provide us with growth-inducing struggle, we must seek it for ourselves.
Jiu Jitsu provides the necessary difficulty with which to foster our growth: an endless array of physical and cognitive difficulty, as we constantly solve problems in the face of resistance.
In the context of personal development, I have always viewed my experiences in a simple way:
The training for my character which an experience provides is more important than the experience itself; who I am becoming matters more than the task I am practicing.
When a student sincerely attempts to learn Jiu Jitsu, they are forced to develop their virtues and remove their vices as they ascend the hierarchy of skill development, embodying the character traits which their humanity most requires: humility, resolve, and efficacy.
When I am a parent, my kids will train Jiu Jitsu because to best steward their potential, I must give them the opportunities to constantly face difficulty– physically, mentally, and emotionally– in a safe environment with the support of a collective, a group of individuals conspiring toward a worthy ideal, their highest selves.
I have never found such an environment outside of Jiu Jitsu, and this is why I will use this medium to serve my children, and as many children as possible, for as long as I am given the opportunity.