I had a terrific visit to Revolution BJJ in Richmond, VA, this past weekend, and I am grateful for the hospitality. I got a tour of the beautiful facility, I caught up with old friends and made some new ones, and I did what jiu-jitsu people do: I trained. I also got to participate in another discussion about training, focusing partially on my book Training Wheels, but also ranging across various other topics.
Hearing the stories of other jiu-jitsu practitioners is my favorite part of these events. This time around, we got into a discussion about the history of jiu-jitsu in the United States, as filtered through the experiences of some of the more long-standing practitioners in the room. The discussion made me realize that although nowadays it is possible to improve at jiu-jitsu more quickly than it was when I was coming up through the ranks (my very first instructor was a blue belt, and that seemed pretty amazing at the time), I am glad I took the route I did because I, too, got to see some history in the making. I have seen changes in the landscape of competition, instruction, “in vogue” technique, and even audience, and knowing how things have shifted over time creates a richness to my experience that I am not always even aware of.
This weekend promises to be chock full of opportunities to learn more about others’ jiu-jitsu histories. On Saturday, I am going to help Princeton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where I train and teach, celebrate the grand opening of our new space. There will be friends, history, training, and, most importantly, cake.
On Sunday I travel to Ludlow, MA, to train and chat with the great people at Team Link, for another book discussion and open mat. While there may not be cake, I’m sure we can find some kind of dessert.
If you are near Princeton on Saturday, come join us 11:30am-2pm. If you are in Ludlow on Sunday, come join us noon-2. You won’t be able to help but learn something and have a little fun. Plus, desserts.
Do you have questions about striking a balance between your athletic activities and your “normal” life? Navigating relationships as you pursue your athletic goals? Setting those goals and creating effective strategies for meeting them? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can work on those issues together.