Dedicated, not Obsessed

Dedicated, not obsessed.

By: Joe Hannan

Dedicated, not Obsessed

I see Jiu Jitsu everywhere I go, especially in the movements and play of animals. I think about Jiu Jitsu all day, a constant narrative of if he does this, then I do that, running through my head. Sometimes, I mix it up, and the narrative gets switched to, if I do this, he does that. In my down time, I watch Jiu Jitsu videos on YouTube or Instagram. I catch myself digging for underhooks when I hug my wife. The words Jiu Jitsu come out of my mouth in polite conversation more often than I care to admit, but as you will learn, there is no better metaphor for life than Jiu Jitsu. And with all of those millimeter-sized victories you’re making, you’re bound to become what some would call obsessed with Jiu Jitsu.

I’ve seen various iterations of this unattributed quote, which applies perfectly to the Gentle Art: “Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.” Obsession has a negative connotation. The byproduct of an obsession is often self-deterioration or self destruction. You can become obsessed with gambling, meaningless sex, or money. But Jiu Jitsu produces the opposite effect of these deleterious examples. Calling yourself obsessed, or being called obsessed, is simply inaccurate.

You are dedicated. You understand that the benefits of the struggle outweigh the discomfort. You’ve seen for yourself the transformative power of the practice, and you’ve felt it work its power through you. Maybe you have even trained in other martial arts, where you were taught that a focused chi could thwart a would-be attacker. That is obsession — a willful blindness to the realities of the world. You don’t have time to be obsessed. You’re too busy being dedicated. Obsession is a state of being. Dedication is a state of doing.

Be dedicated to Jiu Jitsu. Think about it critically. Examine it from all sides. Test it and let it test you.

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