You Will Alienate Some

You will alienate some.

Photo by Shawna Rodgers

By: Joe Hannan

Your dedication might alienate those closest to you. Some people will never appreciate Jiu Jitsu. They’re probably not reading this post. But should someone close to you need convincing that your newfound practice is worthwhile, this entry is a good place to start.

Family, friends and significant others, for the most part, won’t understand why you’ve chosen to punish yourself multiple times a week out on the mats. They will roll your eyes when you flinch from the pain of a balky joint or a sore muscle. They will get frustrated when your free time becomes more scarce as you succumb to the Gentle Art’s siren song.

You will have to weigh just how important those opinions are to you, and you must do so with the understanding that in one year of training, I’ve seen Jiu Jitsu put a strain on every one of the aforementioned types of relationship. But I offer up this one piece of advice: evaluate critically and carefully.

There are few things in life that benefit the mind and the body in the way that Jiu Jitsu does. In my opinion, monthly training fees are a sound investment in yourself. The commitment the Jiu Jitsu player makes to the game is a commitment to self-improvement and empowerment. The questions you have to ask yourself are, does someone who would stand in the way of that have their priorities straight? Is their opinion on the matter valid? Are they worth your time?

There’s even a smaller subset of the group of people alienated by Jiu Jitsu who will seek to diminish what you’re doing out of petty jealousy. They are so unhappy, so dissatisfied, that the very thought of someone close to them seeking self-improvement is anathema.

As the stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius would say, all in life is opinion. We are all assess the same situations, events and objects, but formulate different judgments. It is up to us whether those judgments, or opinions, are founded in emotion or founded in reason. Jiu Jitsu trains the player to be observational, rational and objective. With enough time, you will begin to unmask the detractors around you, seeing them for what they truly are.

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