In jiu jitsu, it is said that the ground is your best friend. That's not to say the clouds aren't also fun to be with.
For many years I have envisioned a utopia of jiu jitsu. It's a space filled with love and generosity; within yourself, and amongst those around you. It's where everyone is on the same team, all supporting each other along the way. In this happy place you don’t help because you have to. You do it because it is your duty, and your responsibility as a human being.
Fast forward to today, and these dreams have culminated into something very tangible, for Higher Jiu Jitsu at the PCYC City of Sydney is here. So what is our mission?
We help everyday people build quality of life with Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
We serve you by providing this utopia in the form of coaching, systems, and the environment to practice jiu jitsu with mindfulness. In this way you can study self defence via the movements of your own body. This is how your work on the mats develops into self-awareness. And this self awareness is the key to use jiu jitsu as the doorway to improvement, for life.
When you become aware, you can't go back to not aware. You've drank the red pill, and now there is no return. You're more in control of your actions, you're learning how to work with things and not against them, and it's being done as a lifetime endeavour.
This process produces a ripple effect - it starts with you, and it's felt far away. Happiness is contagious, and when you thrive, you show others how to thrive with you. And this is how we will work to our vision:
10,000 jiu jitsu black belts, on the mats, and off, helping to make the world a better place.
I may have deviated back into those clouds. Yet up there I hear Will Smith say "being realistic is the most commonly travelled path to mediocrity."
I've had jiu jitsu in my life for over a decade, and in this time, everything has become better. I've been immersed in learning, I've made many best friends, and I've improved my health with age. I've also faced adversity numerous times, and I've risen from the other side.
Jiu Jitsu has helped me realise that if you dream it, and you believe it, you can achieve it. When you want something enough, the universe conspires with you, and anything becomes possible. It's because when a community of like minded individuals with similar intentions come together toward the same direction, the possibilities are endless.
These joys aren't limited to my experiences either. Other students of jiu jitsu will also attest to the life changing impacts of the mats. Now, consider that leverage is available to everyone, and then imagine what this world would be like with 10,000 more black belts leading the way.
That's what we're working toward. Clearly this can't be done alone. Nothing worth doing can be. It needs your help. You need to jump on board the mission. We need everybody to work together, and do this in unity because that's the only way we'll get there.
It won't be easy. There is work to be done. It's going to involve lots of commitment, effort, and hard work on all fronts. But I know we're capable.
We may not be around to see it. This is something we can't control. But with every seed we sow in each class, by way of learning, and awareness, and good vibes, we get closer and closer to the vision.
We've come this far, already. And it only gets better every day. It's because we're playing the long game; we seek endless refinement, we remain patient with the process, and we're filled with gratitude for where we are at, right now.
And when all is said and done, remember that the journey is the prize all along.