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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Leadership and Traditional Values

June 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 242

For centuries Martial Arts training has developed many great characteristics in its students, while they strive to master their chosen discipline. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu may be considered a modern day and progressive Martial Art and although it continues to evolve, it is important to respect and follow some of the ancient traditions of the Martial Arts... I still remember the five tenets of Tae Kwon Do from my training as a youth and it has served me well in life. It is as follows:

Tae Kwon Do aims to achieve:

1. Courtesy (Ye Ui)

2. Integrity (Yom Chi)

3. Perseverance (In Nae)

4. Self Control (Guk Gi)

5. Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)

What a great foundation these tenets lay for aspiring Tae Kwon Do students and Martial Artists in general. You would be wise to learn these tenets and strive to master them no matter what art you practise or profession you engage in. Traditional Martial Arts values such as these are timeless and should be an essential cornerstone in all Martial Arts curriculum including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Now that doesn't mean you have to follow the same protocols of many traditional Martial Arts schools and bow when entering/exiting the gym, stepping on or off the mat and greeting/addressing your instructor, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. For me, I still bow upon entering any Martial Arts training area and every time I enter and leave the mat as a sign of respect for the art, the philosophy of the art, the history and all those that have gone before me and will continue long after I leave. But that's just me.

In my school I don't ask students to bow when stepping on or off the mat or addressing me... As a matter of fact I don't ask them to bow at all! I greet my students by name and with a hand shake, as this is a common courtesy and custom in Western society. My students address me by name or sometimes as "Coach", I do not ask them address me by any formal title, not that there is anything wrong with that at all, this is just the way I choose to run my school.

I am often asked why don't I make my students bow and follow more of the Eastern traditions of more formal etiquette. I have also been asked how do I maintain discipline and create a good learning environment in the school without such protocols in place.

The answer is easy. In a word "Leadership". I do my best to lead by example. I believe Respect should be earned and not demanded blindly. And the instructor should respect his/her students equally as individuals regardless of rank or any other differences. I encourage my students to ask questions, to help and protect each other when training and to have fun while on the mat. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training is challenging enough. Your ego will take a beating almost every time you step on the mat, so why not relax and have a little fun while we are training. If you have fun while training you will enjoy training and if you enjoy training you are more likely to continue regardless of any obstacles that you face. And you will face many challenges and obstacles on your path towards mastery. If you are to overcome them then your best bet it to prepare yourself and anticipate them, stay focused on your goals and learn to adapt and improvise on the fly. Anticipation, preparation, focus, adaptation and improvisation are all talents that you will develop while learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And just like the tenets of Tae Kwon Do they extend far beyond the mat and into your everyday life.

So for those of you that train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or any other Martial Art, I want to ask you to do something. Starting today hold yourself accountable for everything. Take responsibility for your actions and lead by example. Don't wait to be inspired, be the inspiration for others and lead by example. From time to time you will make mistakes but it is up to you how you choose to respond to them. Will you take responsibility and make the necessary adjustments to improve or will you blame others or circumstances? The choice is yours, lead by example and inspire others to start making changes in their lives or do what everyone else does and wait for change to happen... Because we can see how well that is working... Not! So choose Accountability, be a Leader and make a difference!

Felipe Grez

Owner/Head Instructor of Jiu Jitsu Kingom

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in Sydney, Australia that is dedicated to helping people reach their goals and improve their lives through martial arts training. If you like what you read please feel free to check out our blog on our website.

Source: EzineArticles
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