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Why It's Not About Jiu Jitsu

We constantly say at Team Passos that it is not about Jiu Jitsu. By no means are we minimizing the art; exactly the opposite. The art of Jiu Jitsu is so beautiful and useful that it transcends the mat to allow us to improve as a person outside of the four walls of the academy.

I am super passionate about Jiu Jitsu. I have dedicated myself to the art for close to 20 years. I study daily and am always trying to improve my own game. But what I have gained through Jiu Jitsu has had a greater impact on my life outside of the mat than just the art itself. What I have learned is that Jiu Jitsu is a tool that helps us to better understand ourselves, adapt to life’s circumstances, and relate to others.

Through training, we become aware of our emotions and learn how we react in different and ever-changing situations. It teaches us new and more effective ways of dealing with challenges as well as connecting with others. Jiu-Jitsu can bring us to the end of ourselves in that it challenges us to push past our comfort zones, fears, and doubts to where we reach new limits mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The art of Jiu Jitsu will put us in vulnerable positions. And often the way that we respond to pressure on the mat is a reflection of how we react under pressure outside of the mat. Training Jiu Jitsu instills a mental fortitude and problem-solving that not only exponentially improves our performance during rolls but also in the workplace, at home with our family, and in any other relationship. I truly believe that Jiu Jitsu is one of the most effective tools to spur us to grow, overcome barriers, and achieve breakthroughs physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The ability to apply the skills and concepts that we are working on in class outside of the academy is the key element to maximize your learning of the art of Jiu Jitsu and will allow you to enjoy class even more. To master the art itself a student obviously must work hard and put in the training hours on the mat. However, the beauty of the sport is that you do not need to train Jiu Jitsu full-time to be able to gain skills that can be applied off the mat. Any student training consistently, even if it is just once or twice a week will be able to make the connection and apply the tools they have learned in class to outside of the academy.

The reason we say that it is not about Jiu Jitsu is because its benefits (emotionally, mentally, and physically) are not confined to just the mat. To try to limit it to just Jiu Jitsu not only thwarts the potential of the art but also our own potential. Ultimately it is not about Jiu Jitsu. It is about living a life transformed and impacting others’ lives through the art of Jiu Jitsu. That is what Jiu Jitsu has done and continues to do in my life. And I want nothing less for all of my students.

– Professor Tony Passos


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