Jiu-Jitsu is the way of the warrior, and every warrior must endure a path of suffering. To be clear, suffering is not a burden, but more a blessing. As a general rule, many view hardship, pain, and failure as negative stressors on their lives. When you learn to view the world through the lens of a BJJ practitioner you begin to understand the mental fortitude that only suffering can bring.
For everyone, the concept of suffering is very different. Jiu Jitsu practitioners know that they need to suffer, to succeed. When you can’t breathe because you have another, very large, human being on your chest, when your lungs burn because you are pushing through a 10 minute round, when a grown man has his arms, securely, constricting your neck, that’s when you know what you’re made of – and everything else is the world, seems to be on mute.
Suffering brings pain, doubt, and negative mental self-talk. When you suffer you question everything you thought you knew about yourself. However, when you suffer you learn about endurance. Discovering that the limits that you thought applied to your life suddenly have lost their authority is a humbling experience. There is no greater test then to suffer; and no greater triumph than to endure suffering.
In the words of Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, “How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” I don’t mean to imply that one needs to undertake physical violence to know the benefits of suffering. Whatever it is that makes you suffer- go and do that. Walk up a mountain, go for a run in the freezing snow, read a book, call your dad. No matter the challenge, you can face it and you can overcome that suffering to come out on the other side, a stronger beast.
The beauty of Jiu-Jitsu is that it constantly indoctrinates you to suffering. It desensitizes you to hardship, strife and hopelessness. Imagine what you can accomplish when you are deeply intimate with remaining calm in the face of panic. For many BJJ practitioners, the lack of fear for a challenge is what helps them defeat their opponent. We find ourselves enduring more each day, because the anguish of daily our struggles, pales in comparison to what you have endured on the mat. Test yourself, invite pain in to be your companion, be victorious over your own negative self-talk. Suffering is the path to salvation, and Jiu-Jitsu is the savior.