By Guillaume (Gile) Huni, BJJ black belt and head instructor of Kimura Academy in Belgrade, Serbia.
The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle
Living the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle is a term that we hear a lot nowadays on BJJ websites, magazines, videos or even among our training partners and friends. For the large majority of us Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a hobby, it has become a passion and even affected the way we think, talk, look, walk, and act…So in a nutshell living the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle is taking and using what you have learned while training Jiu-Jitsu and applying that to your everyday life. Every subculture like Surf, skateboard, bodybuilding, video games, crossfit, rock climbing…has their own Lifestyle.
Here are 9 aspects of the Jiu-Jitsu Lifesyle:
1.Training Jiu-Jitsu regularly.
This is the most important in my opinion. Every BJJ training session has to be a valuable experience where you will learn something new, try a new variation on a move, or improve your sensibility for techniques.Being on the mat and drilling, repping techniques, and sparring is very important to be in touch with your BJJ roots. If you want to constantly improve your BJJ then all other type of supplemental training (weights, cardio, mental) should come after BJJ training.
2.Using the principles of Jiu-Jitsu in how you live your life.
This may be the most interesting and deep part. Jiu-Jitsu teaches use some very important lessons and all of these principles can really be used to live our lives. Here are some examples (There are so many good examples that I will do a separate article on that them very soon):
-Using technique over strength: We always hear our teachers telling us to focus more on our technique instead of using raw strength. It was only after I was rolling with Ricardo De La Riva (I outweighed him by a good 30 kilos) and he wasn’t using any strength, just pure technique and destroying me gently that I realized that technique is way more important than strength. In life also you should try to be gentle, charming and skillful instead of just being a brute forcing their way with people. For example, if you just scream and bully your employees, you will never get any good result in the long run. On the other hand if you find out what motivates them, and play with their qualities, and convince them, you will have results for life.
-Maximum efficiency with minimum effort: This is similar to the one before where you will look to achieve your goal by spending the least energy possible. For example, If your opponent is using (wasting) all his strength to control you, you can relax and wait for him to move to seize the opportunity to capitalize on the situation and use it to your advantage. In life, if you have to do something, use the most efficient and least time consuming way.
-When you have a problem, go for the submission: You have something that is bothering you, go and solve it right away. Someone has asked to you to do something, go take care of it right away. Do not leave it for later. Take care of your obligations or problems or they will just get bigger.
-Use strategy to solve a complicated problem: When your opponent has a very good guard, you have to conquer his guard step by step by using the right strategy and timing. Same thing in real life where planning is everything.
-He who dares wins, Seize opportunities: When you are rolling, keep your eyes and ears open, as opportunities are everywhere: a foot or wrist is there to be taken etc..In life, opportunities and ideas that will change your life or business are all around for you to seize. Take a chance.
There are so many more of these so stay tuned for more of these in a separate article!
Eating like a true BJJ athlete is more than just eating Acai, drinking watermelon juice and Coconut water Training everyday is taxing on the body and we need to feed our bodies with the right fuel. Think of your body as a Ferrari. If you fill it everyday with low quality oil (junk food), your car will eventually break down. It’s the same thing with your body. Good food should make you feel refreshed and energized, not heavy and slow. Eating healthy and clean is an investment in your long term well being. I like eating some junk food sometimes but in moderation off course.
Our bodies repair when we rest and more specially when we sleep well. We all know that we aren’t the same on the mat when we had a full nights sleep and when we just slep a few hours. For further reading about benefits of sleep, read this article.
Using the BJJ lingo in everyday life.
Many BJJ players that have Brazilian professors, will pick up some of the expressions and Brazilian accent that they hear everyday. Word like “Hespect”, “My Fren”, “Bro”, “Caralho”, “Porra”, “Pay attention”, “Ok Guys” may be used in everyday conversation with confused non BJJ friends…
Very often the whole “competition experience” can make you more engulfed in the whole BJJ lifestyle. The fact of travelling, supporting and bonding with your BJJ team mates over a weekend strengthens bonds and friendships much more than just training in the gym.
Wearing Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle wear.
I remember when I first started training, I was watching old vhs tapes of Walid Ismael and the guys from Carlson Gracie wearing Bad Boy T shirts and other Brazilian brands like Hunter, Hot Blood. Those brands were unavailable in France back then and I couldn’t wait to wear them and represent Jiu-Jitsu everywhere! Nowadays it’s still the same. Wearing BJJ wear like shirts, fight shorts, hoodies caps, marks that you belong to the BJJ clan. You can be sure that anybody who wears a BJJ shirt, is really a BJJ player. It is not like surfing when if you see a guy wearing a Quicksilver shirt, he probably doesn’t surf in real life…
Using the Hang loose/Shaka Symbol everywhere.
This symbol is used alot in Surf culture and since BJJ came from Brazil where many BJJ guys were also surfers, it stayed.
Representing Jiu-Jitsu at all times.
Being a disciple of Jiu-Jitsu and spreading the good word. Our sport is growing at a steady pace. The are regions in the world where it is already mainstream like Brazil and the US is getting there, but other areas still need us to grow the sport through word of mouth.
It is important to use the principles of Jiu-Jitsu to make you a better person and to not over exaggerate to the point of becoming a extremist and taking other important things like family and career for granted. All in all Jiu-Jitsu should be a positive aspect in your life. Enjoy the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle!