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On The Other Side of Tough Training
How often do you get to suffer when you train?
I don’t mean getting maliciously ripped apart by the guy that everyone avoids at your academy, or getting injured on a regular basis. I’m referring to the genuine feeling of being too tired to continue, outmatched, trapped, or maybe being humbled. And yet continuing. Most people tend to avoid experiencing some humility, when in reality it is one of the best things you could ever hope to experience. The BJJ mat can provide this for you, IF you choose to take part.
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We have it pretty easy these days. Of course, there is still real suffering all around us, and many people struggle in their lives. But daily life has changed drastically over the course of many years. The average person is treated to a smartphone, comfortable furniture, and the ability to have their favorite snacks delivered to their doorstep. We don’t endure the same hardships that our ancestors once did.
I have reached a place in my training where if I go too long without tapping into the primal feelings brought on by training hard live rounds, my life gets thrown out of balance. A feeling of something missing begins to develop, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. After an intense hour of live training, those feelings cease to exist.
Some people choose to skip the rounds, or they do one or two, or maybe take part in a couple then sit out for the next one. If its for fear of your lack of cardio, not being able to perform, or losing. I can tell you, you are missing out. On the other side of those couple rounds, as you get into deeper water, there is a feeling of freedom. A feeling that causes something I could almost describe as possession. You will get past all of those fears and enter a state that feels almost as if there are no boundaries. Sometimes these experiences amount to nothing more than survival. They become efforts to simply keep your head above water depending on who you’re training with, but nonetheless it is a truly unique sensation.
I’m not recommending that you get hurt weekly, behave in a way that’s a detriment to the safety of others, or put anyone at risk. This kind of training is 100% possible without any trips to the hospital, as long as there is trust, and mutual respect between you and your training partners.
If you never involve yourself in any combat sports, or really any athletic endeavor that pushes your mind and body to its limits, you may actually never in your life tap into these feelings that connect us with what it means to truly be human. Volunteer to suffer a little bit in your training. Renzo Gracie once said, “Fighting is the best thing a man can have in his soul”. My white belt self said, “awesome”, when I read that quote for the first time. My black belt self says, “I get it”.
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All of these amazing feelings and freedom are on the other side of what you might fear. Stop sitting out when you feel the unknown approaching. Give it a chance to over-take you, you’ll connect to something many will never experience, and it will be all yours.