This weekend I fought in the British Open 2015 in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu side by side with my students and friends from North Wales Martial Arts Center in Rhyl and although we didnt win any gold medals, it was a great experience to hang out and see some great Jiu-Jitsu that hopefully inspired and motivated the guys from NWMA. There’s not much quality Jiu-Jitsu in Rhyl and the North Wales area where the NWMA academy is located and there is definitely a lack of black belts in the area also. In fact there isn’t any higher ranked guys around (brown and black belts) and I’m told that Rhyl and the surrounding areas is probably one of the poorest areas in Wales and Brittain in general, so its great to come here and teach both kids and adults the beautiful art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I truly believe Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a lifesaver, as it was for myself, for anyone who trains and adopts the positive mindset and problem solving attitude that is one of the awesome side-effects of training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Unfortunately Jiu-Jitsu has also become more a way of making money for some people around here than it is to actually live and feel the lifestyle and have a true and honest pursuit for perfecting the technique and also teaching the true values of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. There’s obviously also lots good people around here who do train and practices the art.
So that is my goal in North Wales, to teach and show what i feel is the pure Jiu-Jitsu, and competing in the British Open is a way of showing the group at NWMA that winning or losing a tournament is not what defines you as a person, it is a way to learn more about yourself and how you react to the nerves, the adrenaline and the stress that kicks in. And I want to show that the effort you put in and the mindset in which you prepare and train yourself is what defines you. And losing is not something to be afraid of, everybody loses, especially in a Jiu-Jitsu tournament where 50% of the competitors lose their first fight. I lost both my matches this weekend but that doesn’t stop me because as I wrote, losing doesn’t define me or who I am or what I preach. In sharp contrast to a instructor in the area who signs up to the tournaments but never shows up. The stories I hear about this guy is just amazing and I definitely want to show that that’s not the way things work in Brazilian Jiu and in life in general.
So hopefully my friends and family is proud of me no matter what the outcome is. In the end is just a Jiu-Jitsu tournament, it’s not life or death. You have to embrace the nerves, the adrenaline and always try to make it into something positive. Obviously I know competing is not for everyone, so this is more a mindset for those who sign up. I’m not talking about winning the world championship but if you sign up and you talk the talk you have to walk the walk, win or lose doesn’t matter. Doing your best and trying is what matters. Again, win or loose we’re still back on the mats the week after to improve and correct our mistakes both as a person, as an instructor, as a Jiu-Jitsu competitor or whatever it is we decide to do or to be.
Here’s my two fights from the weekend at the British Open in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I competed in the black belt master 1 lightweight division. First fight is from my weight class and the second one from the open class. Basically my mindset when i compete is to be aggressive, go for the submission and let my Jiu-Jitsu flow. Which I feel like I accomplished pretty well, even though i lost both my fights. I’ll be back competing again soon, this time side by side with my teammates and friends from ArteSuave and of course my students , kids and adults, from my classes at Fightworld.