The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle

It aint easy finding that perfect balance between family, work, school and Jiu-Jitsu. It's even more amazing when you consider that training in Jiu-Jitsu in Lincoln, Nebraska is almost like being a part of a sub-culture. Most likely, none of your friends or family members really know what Jiu-Jitsu is. And if they actually know it's Jiu-Jitsu rather than Karate, they really don't understand what it is you do. Bakari Akil posted a funny write-up on his blog, Jiu-Jitsu 365, about how his folks responded to his recent belt promotion. I've gotten to the point where I just tell people I practice martial arts.

My point is that you're not using your valuable time to take part in something that everyone can relate to. Around here, relatively speaking, only a handful of people know what Jiu-Jitsu is. The last time I had to ask for a Saturday off from work for a Jiu-Jitsu tournament, I got some pretty strange looks. If we were all on an intramural basketball team, most people wouldn't bat an eye at the amount of time dedicated to our training.

A couple of weeks ago, Elyse Goldberg posted the first video of a series on her blog, Gringa BJJ. This short documentary, Jiu-Jitsu: Lifestyle, got me thinking about how Jiu-Jitsu has affected and even changed my life. Of course this is nothing new to anyone who trains in Jiu-Jitsu. It is truly an addiction.

The documentary profiles Virginia Commonwealth University Students and Richmond Jiu-Jitsu athletes as they try to find the balance between work, family and their love for the sport. They talk about various aspects of their training and teaching style, and different events they've competing in.

It brings home the reality that there are so many similarities to all of us as we work towards finding that balance in our lives. It always amazes me when I think about the diverse group of individuals we have at our school and how each of us makes it work in our individual lives.

Jiu-Jitsu: Lifestyle (1 of 3)

Jiu-Jitsu: Lifestyle (2 of 3)

Jiu-Jitsu: Lifestyle (3 of 3)


Brent said...

that is a very well put together documentary.
a great quote near the end: "jiu jitsu is one of those places where the analytical side and the artistic side work together."
too often those are dichotomized. yet in jiu jitsu, they have to be in conjunction-great insight.

Aaron H said...

I am only halfway through the first video, but I can already tell that this is toughing a nerve. I think most of us, if not all of us feel the same passion that these brothers and sisters are exuding in their interviews. We come in for different reasons but seek the same results as one and other. We have compassion for eachother and make new and lasting relationships. We are all optimistic of where Jiu Jitsu is taking us in our life's journey. This is the part of Jiu Jitsu that I never expected, but love just as much as learning new moves and techniques. I think it would be very interesting to have us do something like this to pull that raw emotion out of all of us without sugercoating anything. We all have unique stories. Very powerful stuff!

Georgette said...

I'm hoping my marriage endures my passion! Very few people understand if they're not in it themselves. I'm lucky my husband took it up (a few months after I did) and he's amazingly supportive.

Conan said...

Aaron, I've given some serious thought to producing our own home grown documentary on this topic. After seeing this one, I'm certain I want to do this. Since my two previous documentaries have been focussed on our downtown homeless folks, a Jiu-Jitsu video should prove to be an exciting change of pace. I know you're in to videography also, so we'll have to bounce some ideas off of eachother.

Georgette, although my wife would never dream of taking up Jiu-Jitsu, thankfully she's been extremely supportive and understanding. One thing that I think is funny is that every time I've been injured, she asks me if I'm going to quit.

Anonymous said...

I think a documentary would be cool Sensei. Since being here, I have always wondered what drives people to do this and what sacrifices they make. I can't tell people I do Jiu-jitsu because that means very little to most people out there. I usually say submission wrestling and hope that paints a decent mental picture. My friends here at work see it as rolling around with sweaty men, and I actually take grief for it. My wife hates it because she is the test person for my new moves. She does ask me every time, who I tapped and if I got tapped. In some quasi twisted way, she cares I think. My 3 yr old can do a Kimura and my 6 yr old almost choked out a nephew using a rear naked choke (we had a talk). I definitely think a documentary would be cool.

Andy S