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Everyday Porrada, Jiu-Jitsu For The Long Haul

Everyday Porrada, Jiu-Jitsu For The Long Haul


There are a lot of sayings out there about making the most of your time.  One of my favorites is the one that goes:

What’s the best time to plant a tree?

Forty Years Ago

What’s the second best time to plant a tree?

Right now.

I like this one, because it applies to older beginners like me.  I started training BJJ in my later 40s. It would have been nice if I’d started thirty or forty years ago, but, well, I didn’t.

Back then, I had a one-track mind, and everything was all about college and graduate school and all that good stuff.  I was thinking ahead to a career and to getting myself established in that career.

I did a good job of it, too.  But then life happens. And somewhere along the way, I realized that—while my pursuit of that goal was admirable—it wasn’t all there was—or all there should be—to life.  

Getting cancer will do that to you.  Even in the best of cases—and mine was the best of cases—a cancer diagnosis makes you re-evaluate your life and your priorities.  

Things that seemed incredibly important before suddenly seem much less so.

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You begin to realize that getting to the top of your organization’s pyramid at work isn’t really a big deal.  After all, when you retire, they’ll find someone else to take your spot and, after a few years, no one will even remember your name.

Instead of devoting all of your time to a faceless organization, devoting time to yourself and your loved ones becomes far more important.  You want to live. And you want to live with a vengeance.

After cancer, life gained a sense of urgency.  You realize the days are precious, so you want to live them with intensity.

And, in my case, part of improving myself consisted of getting in better shape.  As a desk jockey, I wasn’t in the best shape before my diagnosis. And chemotherapy is somewhat indiscriminate in the damage it can do to your body.  It works because cancer cells are particularly vulnerable to it, but chemotherapy will also decimate muscle mass.

The problem was that I never liked exercise.  It was purposeless. Lift a heavy weight only to put it back down where it started.  It’s static. Or run down a road when you’re not chasing anything and nothing is chasing you.  What’s the point? Traditional exercise was the opposite of what I was craving.

But Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was different.  It was definitely exercise. It definitely got my muscles working and pushed my cardio to new heights.  But, more important, it was purposeful.

There’s a reason behind what we do in Jiu Jitsu; it’s about learning to defend yourself.  

In Jiu Jitsu, even the warm-ups have a reason behind them; they’re all fundamental moves that get used time and again in rolling.  

And just as for most people, the biggest attraction is rolling.

Even though you’re rolling with teammates, every roll carries an intensity to it that dumbbell curls or a jog in the park will never match.  

Rolling had that same intensity and urgency that I was looking for after months of chemotherapy.  In a sense, it was an apt metaphor for the kind of life I was looking to lead.

Jiu Jitsu is a lifestyle that can embraces the motto “Everyday Porrada.”  The phrase comes from Romulo Barral, who insisted the secret to Jiu Jitsu success was “to train hard every day.  Everyday Porrada and nothing else!”

It’s a good philosophy—not only for Jiu Jitsu but for life.  We have to have an eagerness to engage with the world around us.  And we need to bring the same intensity to our lives that we bring to every roll.

If we’re not doing that, we’re just wasting our time….Which is probably why I didn’t plant my Jiu Jitsu tree forty years ago.  

Back then, I hadn’t learned what I know now.  I was looking for a smooth path instead of searching out mountains to tackle.

In short, I wasn’t ready then.

I’m lucky though.  Even though I started training later, I started at the right time for me.  The lessons about life that I learned from my brush with cancer dovetailed perfectly with the Everyday Porrada spirit that is so prevalent in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I love how the pieces have come together.

Everyday Porrada Spider Guard by Romulo Barral is a 4-Part Journey to Jiu-Jitsu Excellence. Spider Guard is a great equalizer in the Gi. With Romulo you can not only set the position up, you can DOMINATE with it. Take your guard game to the NEXT level!



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