Jiu Jitsu has given me an education in education, which I now see is the most valuable education there is.
Things can be added, but that doesn’t mean that anything is missing.
Habits are infinitely more beneficial to the aspiring student than motivation. Motivation may get you started, but habits keep you going.
Just know that the achievement of anything grand takes consistent effort year after year. Motivation can uphold you intermittently, but it has too few calories to sustain a life.
Systems and processes will always surpass motivation.
We see that happiness is not comfort. Happiness is the freedom to choose one’s own way.
Jiu Jitsu uses us to express itself, and the best thing we can do to is to become a vehicle capable of expressing Jiu Jitsu with all of its perfection minus our imperfections.
I have found that the morning is far more accessible when a good book awaits you.
We are just too busy trying to appear smart to realize how intelligent we actually are.
I firmly believe that life will continually try to teach you the same lesson, with increasing pain, until you heed the call.
Through Jiu Jitsu I have developed many of the most meaningful relationships in my life, and if that were the only benefit of my practice, Jiu Jitsu would still be the best endeavor I have ever undertaken.
Relationships formed through Jiu Jitsu are deeply rooted in respect for one another, and this is often not the case in matters of modern society.
Jiu Jitsu provides a place of fellowship that, unfortunately, our society has largely failed to create.
It is fellowship, this most fundamental need on our way toward achieving our highest expression of the human experience, which Jiu Jitsu provides.
This is the opportunity the fellowship of Jiu Jitsu affords us. To reach our highest potential of self, and then to offer that self to another.
We see that the vast majority of our suffering is needless, and simply arises from the misidentification with our thinking mind.
I envision a world in which the vast majority of us are actively striving toward our potential by serving others through mediums we are most passionate.
When you realize you are no longer made of glass, you lose the desire to demonstrate that fragility in others.
We are force-fed beliefs through incessant advertisements by a culture that ceaselessly fosters our conformity to values which are of no service to the individual.
We are now forced to actively pursue our struggles. If we do not go out of our way to stretch our comfort zones and grow, no one nor nature will do it for us.
Society is a collection of selves perpetuating their myth.
When you give your weakness permission to be because you understand that it is simply an expression of your strength, it tends to no longer be a weakness.
The point of meditating is not to learn to sit quietly in a room. The point is to live that way in the world.
The major events in our lives receive the entire spotlight, but ultimately your life will be defined by the same handful of choices you make each day.
Self-improvement is generally a removal of a vice rather than an acquisition of a virtue.
My growth as a human being has been directly proportional to my growth as a marital artist.
I can think of no more worthwhile aim than pursuing mastery in this craft while transcending one’s own limitations.
The only way to consistently perform at your potential is to ask: Am I better than I was yesterday?
I would more appropriately define mastery as the technical ability possible within the constraints of your particular existence.
Words make the intangible aspects of human experience communicable, and a single sentence can shatter our world view and assist us in the formulation of a new one.
When your words enter the material world in the form of ink or on screen, you are immediately afforded the opportunity to judge their worth.
We seek to understand Jiu Jitsu as a vehicle to understand ourselves. We have different explicit goals, from getting in shape, learning self-defense or competition, but tacitly we all seek mastery of ourselves.
We call it training. Not because we are training for Jiu Jitsu. We are training for life.
Jiu Jitsu can be a source of total transparency such as a mirror, but it takes a conscious choice to see what it has to say.
Do not seek victory, for victory in itself will not serve you. Seek to understand what made the victory possible.
An arm bar in a vacuum is worthless. It is the realization of the truths which constitute that arm bar that is the real treasure we seek.
The infinitude of Jiu Jitsu allows for the infinitude of the types of practitioners. There exists a game for each and every one of us which is specifically possible within the confines of our particular skill set.
For the sincere student, it mustn’t be enough to simply understand Jiu Jitsu. We must seek to understand ourselves.
I believe that which you study is only matched in importance by the sincerity with which you approach it.
There is no concrete way to play Jiu Jitsu, and this is why so many different types of people find joy in it.
In mastering one thing, you have mastered all things because you have learned how to learn.
Freedom from the thinking mind is our underlying goal for most of human activity.
This is what it means to be mindful. To watch the thoughts as they come and go without judgment while completely accepting what arises in the present moment.
You are the space in which these thoughts arise, but not the thoughts themselves.
For many of us, especially being so fortunate to live in a first-world country, the vast majority of pain we experience is due to the seriousness with which we identify with our thoughts.
This is a trust that you just cannot find in modern society for there are no conditions to forge it.
The rare opportunity to exist, no matter how brief, is worth the pain left in the wake of its disappearance.
The quality of your life is directly proportional to the positive effect you have on others’ lives.
Jiu Jitsu is a baptism by combat, and serves a purpose in the inner life of the individual that has always existed, but our modern culture fails to acknowledge.
Plateaus are a manifestation of the law of diminishing returns, and when we reach one it simply means that it is time to adjust our methods.
After I received my blue belt, I soon recognized that the belts were simply an external representation of an inner experience, and that they mattered little compared to the person I was becoming.
Being part of the whole, as I grow so does that which contains me.
You are never as good as you think you are, and you are never as bad as you believe yourself to be.
There is no higher calling than service to your fellow man, and to do so through your own personal mastery of a craft is a gift enjoyed by few. Cultivate this gift, and give it away.
Jiu Jitsu is a vehicle for self-discovery and growth. It reminds me of my ego, of my insecurities, and of my shortcomings.
Your potential for growth is directly proportionate to the degree to which you are willing to make mistakes.
It is only when we admit our ignorance that we can hope to overcome it.
A core group of guys, all sharing similar goals, can move mountains.
The most meaningful endeavors are the ones that come without an end.
Do not get caught pursuing the goals of who you used to be instead of who you are.
The more specifically you define your goals the more attainable they become.
Constantly re-evaluating your purpose is the best way to ensure that you are pursuing the goals of who you are and not who you used to be.
We are free to live the life we have imagined, not the life imagined for us.
We strive toward the middle, and we run from ourselves.
If nothing lasts then everything has meaning. If everything dies that means we actually live.
Let’s live our lives with great meaning and purpose in the attempt to influence the world to whatever degree our circumstance allows.
I envision a world in which the vast majority of us are actively striving toward our potential as human beings by spending our lives serving others through mediums we are most passionate.
I can think of no more worthwhile aim than pursuing mastery in this craft while transcending one’s own limitations.
By becoming a black belt, you will become whatever it is you wanted to be in the first place, and Jiu Jitsu will have served its aim.
we must remember that the end of personal mastery is service to others.
In my own life, I have always viewed personal mastery as simply a medium through which I become capable of providing more service toward my fellow man.
We can either approach Jiu Jitsu through the lens of the “real world” or we can approach the real world through the lens of Jiu Jitsu. I have found the latter to be far more rewarding.
We must not learn to try harder. The key is to learn how not to try in the first place.
Any advanced student will tell you the best way to recover guard is simply not to get your guard passed in the first place.
In Jiu Jitsu, we often fall into the trap of simply trying a technique “harder,” rather than recognizing that it is a poorly chosen tool for the task at hand.
A saw by itself holds no value, but when coupled with your labor can clear forests.
Language has created a barrier that prevents us from seeing existence as it truly is.
The very fact that you can observe this thinking mind is proof that you are not this thinking mind.
Your job as a young adult is to become as valuable to the marketplace as you can. Your job as a human is to do so without working a day in your life.
Everyone, no matter how historically famous or modernly praised, has no idea about the ultimate truth of what it means to be human.
He plays the same game, but for the first time in his life he is truly playing, rather than working, being a human, and this is a vast distinction realized by few.
The knowledge you acquire in an area of study is accompanied by an incalculable ignorance. The farther we get into anything, we learn that we have even farther to go.
We are the estranged orphans of our nations and tribes, and we now bear the weight not of survival of the group but of personal identity.
It is important to realize that we so often define ourselves by what is in opposition to ourselves.
This constant mental diatribe and the frustrations, worries, insecurities and muscular tension that ensues are the self.
That nagging state of constant thought that exists somewhere between the ears and behind the eyes is the self.
We tend to view ourselves as this, lying in contradiction with everything that is not ourselves, that.
I do not begin to think that I could possibly understand its inner-workings and the deepest truths of the cosmos with the 28 years that I have lived in Central New Jersey of the United States of America.
In the modern world we are surrounded by so much abundance that we cannot see it.
You have become more and therefore expect more, but never become too purpose-driven to step back and realize just how far you have progressed.
The day-to-day grind of adult life brings with it a tedium that weighs heavily on our powers of attention. The same experiences, at the same time and place, day in and day out, breed a familiarity that blunts our senses.
When we honestly take stock of our ability, we are then granted the opportunity to improve our circumstance. Accessing where you stand is the only way to stand somewhere else.
Deep down I believe each of us is a well-spring of understanding and wisdom, but we simply never allow the space or time for this understanding to rise to the level of conscious thought.
The most obvious, most absurdly recognizable phenomena in day-to-day life often become the hardest to remain consciously aware of.
The more we have outside ourselves the harder it is to get inside ourselves.
Nothing worthwhile ever came from divided attention.
This philosophy teaches us to leave safe harbor for the rough seas of real-world experience, and to accept that a rough copy out in the world serves us far greater than a masterpiece sitting quietly on our shelves.
Life is so unlikely, so rare and beautiful an opportunity it is to live, we must be on constant guard to ensure that our actions are worthy of the life it takes to perform them.
If something’s existence is contingent upon the existence of another entity, can we truthfully call them separate beings?
Autopilot is great, and removal of thought is one of the highest ideals of training. But removal of thought in the moment must be preceded by purposeful thought beforehand.
Our social contract is becoming an exchange of free thought for mindless stimuli.
The best indicator of a man’s philosophy is not what he reads or says, but the way in which he lives his life, the way in which he acts.
Properly directed thoughts result in properly directed actions. The only way to appropriately guide our thoughts is to know their foundation, our values.
A life of joy awaits the man who sits alone quietly in a room and determines what he himself believes rather than simply adopting the values of another.
A man has only so much life, and must diversify his efforts according to his values.
The possessions themselves were not the problem, it was my relationship with possessing.
The greatest effects we have on the world are the ones we can never see.
I have always found that effort is most easily produced when performed for the benefit of something external to ourselves.
As a human being, I know of no greater example of success than someone who is self-sustaining through using his passion in the service of others.
You have been blessed to stand on the shoulders of giants. Make sure that someone stands on yours as well. This is the only way of human progress.
The most fulfilled among us are those who serve others.
Life is always easier when lived for others, and living for others is the best way I know to live for yourself.
Those who serve others have purpose. Those who serve themselves are lost.
Service, it seems, is the only antidote to existential frustration.
Your happiness is in direct proportion to the amount you serve others.
Every interaction with another is an opportunity to serve.
There is no higher calling than the service of your fellow man, and to do so through your own personal mastery of a craft is a gift enjoyed by few.
I believe the devil exists in those little, seemingly unnoticeable moments when we choose to value our own insecurities over the service of others.
I have found the more worthwhile something is, the more of your life is required to achieve it.
If we do not master ourselves, we will be a slave to ourselves.
Mastery, to whatever degree your circumstance allows, is determined by a handful of choices repeated daily.
Mastery lies on an infinite continuum, and as a result we will never reach the end. We can, however, see to it that we are as far along that continuum as our circumstance allows.
Your progress as a Jiu Jitsu practitioner is a direct reflection of the standards you have for yourself.
Empathy is a breaking down of the false constructs of division between the observer and the observed.
The secular world often finds its constituents disenfranchised and solitary as it has spent a great deal of time debating the religious community while failing to build a true community of its own.
We are only different because there exists something to be different from, and it is this difference that bonds us.
Anyone who has ever achieved anything has been a steward of his potential.
An intelligent consistency is the foundation of genius.
There are no trophies for the real victories in life.
I have never been as alive or awake as I have been through Jiu Jitsu.
Who you are as a person far outweighs what you do in an athletic arena.
Life is a constant build up and release of tension. If we go too far in either direction bad things happen.
We can lose the roll, we can lose position, but we can constantly strive to win the moment.
The more closely two organisms depend upon each other the harder it becomes to tell where one organism ends and the other begins.
Anyone can be tough for a season. It takes a special kind of human to rise to life’s challenges for a lifetime.
It is a shock to many college graduates that their segway into the real world is one of obligation, profound debt, and countless sacrifices of the soul.
Our most valuable victories are those which go without praise.