I have never thought that my name could be associated with martial art. When I was young I was quite sporty and loved to do a lot of different stuff, but growing up, during my teenage years, life gave me some good strike.
Sport and active life are not possible for money problems and health issues. But some years ago I found that I had some mental health issues the same year that I have taken the most important decision of my life, marrying a woman met one year prior. So I started to run and go to therapy.
Family grows, COVID struck and I understand that I need something to be a better father, my first son loves to do “Combattaglia” a made-up word that combines “con” (with) and battaglia (battle) with me. So I start to investigate if there is something similar for people of my age to become fitter and have something to share in the future with my kid.
One year and half ago I found a gym near my office, and after some research, I understand that they teach BJJ. At that time I think that is quite a violent sport, but I want to challenge myself for good and find out if it is interesting. I go to a trial class, with a lot of anxiety regarding the type of people that I may encounter. I don’t want to mess with some hyper-competitive violent guys. Lotus Bjj Milano owner and head was kind and take a lot of time during three different lessons to introduce me to BJJ. He helps me to approach it differently as a knowledge that can help you and every people from teenagers to older men, competitors, or hobbyists share those “mats” as a common ground. I decided to start training… but the first months were an on-and-off decision.
It’s quality time being on the mats, but It’s always a rush and I always ask myself If it’s good to not be good at all at jujitsu. I start also to feel back pain etc… After some months I and my wife were hit by marvelous news: we are expecting triplets. It’s something that fills us with joy but also that gives us preoccupation and for me a lot of questioning myself. I started to train consistently to take care of myself, and to be more relaxed in front of all the possible difficulties things during the pregnancy… And something clicks in my mind. Bjj probably is a combat sport, totally able to help you to fight somebody if needed for self-defense, but more of that is a way to handle yourself and understand that you have to build quality relationships to be free.
One of the first “sentences” that I remember from bjj is not regarding armlock or kimura, but that to do it you need a connection with others. Bjj starts to be something that helps me, so I don’t care if my ego as a 39 years old man can be humbled. After the triplets arrived in our life a lot of changes are needed, I had to understand the importance of asking others, and I understand that perseverance is key. But I was also feared of missing the bjj hours. I managed to continue to train only during lunch break. It’s impossible to sleep with three newborns and a five-year-old kid… so tapping or napping was interesting. Probably my bjj is as horrible as six months ago… but I don’t care, I’m evolving, and some weeks ago after the drills during a break of some seconds before the sparring, I lay my back at the mirror and fall asleep. The class made a fun photo and give me some time to relax after gently woke up me and starting to help me train with ease. I was disappointed by myself and worried that this could be disrespectful, but Ricardo Carpientieri, the coach, helped me understand that bjj is more regarding a group of people that use this art to become better together than any other thing.
So I hope that my journey with the “gentle art” could be long and interesting, to become the best father that I can be and to build a better world, built upon real bonds with people.