September 24, 2011

Most Needed Attributes to Excel in Martial Arts

A student recently asked what is considered the best attributes to have in order to excel in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Most likely the student was expecting the answer to be, flexibility, athleticisms, or maybe strength. The student raised an eyebrow when the answer was given; efficiency, patience, and control.

At Scranton MMA Gracie Jiu-Jitsu transcends the application of chokes, locks, pins, throws, and strikes. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life. Beyond the academy, members are encouraged to live balanced, healthy lives based on the same philosophy that governs Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Grand Masters Carlos and Helio Gracie believed that the principles of efficiency, patience, and control held the key to success in all aspects of life.

Efficiency, the ability to achieve maximum results with minimum efforts, is a core principle of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. During training at the academy, we always assume that your opponent will be larger and more athletic than you. Students quickly learn that the only way to succeed is to exhaust your opponent while conserving your own energy. This of course is accomplished through the use of leverage-based techniques and natural body movements. In life, as in a fight, a student who learns to expend energy efficiently will achieve maximum results with minimal effort. For example; eating healthily, being an honest/respectful person, being a hardworking/morally correct being. All of these are examples of ways to achieve maximum results with minimum effort.

Patience is often another key to success in a fight against a bigger opponent. Usually, it is not the person who attacks most often, but the one who exhausts the least that emerges victorious. Acting impulsively, aggressively, or without purpose wastes energy. Patience also applies to your timing; even a perfectly executed technique will fail if attempted at the wrong moment. In life patience and timing enable you to “make your own luck” by calmly watching and waiting until the right moment when you can apply your energy most efficiently. Be patient with your friends and family, be patient with your enemies, allow impulses to pass before acting, consider all outcomes before committing. Patience and timing allow you to know when to commit while efficiency ensures that you have sufficient energy to achieve your objective when the time is right.

Control, the final objective in a fight is to impose your will on your opponent. Nothing achieves this more quickly than physical domination after which surrender usually follows. Physical domination means controlling your opponent. Without control, you risk losing. In life, control applies not only to a simple contest between you and an opponent, but also to the conflict within yourself. Self-control reflects your personal discipline and is the foundation for every decision you make in life. Without self-control, you risk a lifetime of poor choices that invariably lead to tragic consequences. Refrain from using drugs or alcohol, choose nutritious food over junk food, have the discipline to exercise and rest.

Remembering these attributes will make your journey through the martial arts a far more enjoyable experience while having the added benefit of making your journey through life a far more enjoyable one! See you on the mats!