It’s been a while since I’ve had my face smashed at the gym.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, that is not due to my ability — rather, it is because I have not been able to get in to train. I have let too much time pass in between sessions of having my head ground into the mat. And, oddly enough, that makes me sad.
For those of you that may just be checking this site out because you are new to the sport or because you are curious about learning Brazilian jiu jitsu/submission grappling/MMA, it is important for you to understand something before you start. It isn’t about kicking someone’s ass or learning to fight.
It’s about getting your own ass kicked.
Yeah, that sounds weird, but the simple fact is this: we live in an incredibly soft society. Lewis CK nailed it when he said that “everything is amazing” and that maybe we could all use to have things set back a bit. For all that we have, nobody is happy and we take a lot for granted. It doesn’t matter how effecient our cars are, how big our televisions get, or how fast we can access the internet from our phones, it isn’t enough; we want more.
When the power went out in Greeley on Sunday for a few hours, my kids had no idea what to do with themselves. No TV?? No computers?? A travesty, to be sure. But it got me seriously thinking about how reliant we are on technology to not only entertain us, but to occupy every aspect of our lives.
When I say training is about getting your own ass kicked, I mean that it is about stripping away all of that; all the technology, all the gadgets, everything. None of it helps you on the mat because that is the place where things like grit and heart matter; it’s the place where we go back to being cave men.
There are those in this world that will try to convince you that such practices are “barbaric” or “outdated.” That we have “evolved” past such things. But take a look around at the world we live in — do you think that is true for even one second?
Training in Bjj/MMA is not about learning to fight. Sure, that comes as a natural by-product — it is, after all, the martial arts — but what counts is your own suffering. What makes it worth it is the journey to learn about what your body can take and what it cannot; or what your mind can endure and what it cannot.
Are you thinking that doesn’t sound fun? To get worked over on a regular basis? It is a tough concept to grasp, for sure. I mean, having a 250 lbs fighter rearrange your face doesn’t sound as appealing as, say, drinking a beer with a friend, or driving a Bugatti, or shooting a machine gun, or swimming in a pool of your own money, or watching midgets fight, or eating bacon, or drinking an eggnog made from lighter fluid…
Wait, what was my point? Oh yeah, that, while training hard doesn’t sound as much fun as some things, it goes beyond “fun.” It goes to getting you out of your comfort zone and challenging the basic nature of yourself. The point is not fighting, per se, but walking the path of basic needs. The point is to simplify and strip away that which is unnecessary.
The point is also that, when it comes right down to it, I’m not even that good and the amount of knowledge I gain from this stuff is beyond huge. I get worked over regularly and I still learn — because that’s what it is about.
Well, it’s about that and drinking lighter fluid eggnogs while eating a pile of bacon. You know, the important stuff.
So get in to The Farm and TRAIN!