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Why Jiu-Jitsu? (Part 2: Beyond Fighting)

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Why Jiu-Jitsu? (Part 2: Beyond Fighting)

Why Jiu-Jitsu?

(Part 2: Beyond Fighting)

By Ted Chittenden 2/8/2022



This part of “Why Jiu-Jitsu” will focus on benefits that Jiu-Jitsu can bring into your life that go beyond the ability to fight and defend yourself against other human beings. Typically, people come into my academy for either the ability to defend themselves or to get into better shape. Without question, our Jiu-Jitsu can provide the individual both of those things, but I really do not think that is what keeps people around year after year. It is all the other benefits that yield from Jiu-Jitsu that keep people coming back. In reality, I am in the business of building people, my goal is to help you maximize your human potential, Jiu-Jitsu is just the tool, being able to defend yourself or get into better shape are just results, but there are many other results that you will achieve.


Pandemic of mediocracy 

            We are living in a time of a growing pandemic. No, I’m not talking about COVID, I’m talking about something worse. Something that kills the human spirit, something that will kill the human body. This is a pandemic of mediocracy; it is a decay within our society that tries to marginalize every one of us. It is the idea that achievement is too hard and being average or even sub-average is the goal or the endpoint. It is the built-in excuse that keeps us from striving towards our goals, that tells us it’s okay to quit working towards our dreams. It kills innovation, suppresses creativity, and kills our dreams. This disease is a crafty bastard, it sneaks upon us in the form of comfort and convenience. It uses failure as an excuse to never begin, it uses difficulty as an excuse to quit. It tricks us into thinking mundane is the way things should be. This disease murders your human potential every day. Sadly, this disease seems to be winning.


The good news is Jiu-Jitsu can help cure this disease.


Enhancing your career and accomplishing your goals.

            Success in your chosen profession does not happen by accident. You started on your career path, you developed, you set goals and milestones, you learned, you got better, and you made it to, or are headed toward what you defined as success in your profession. Sounds simple right? Then why do people fail to reach their goals, why does their career path stagnate? Sometimes, the inability to reach your goals is due to external factors, but I would suggest those are few and far between. Often the biggest obstacle that prevents you from achieving your goal, looks you in the mirror every morning. More than likely, you are the reason things are not going in the direction you want. Here is how Jiu-Jitsu can help.


When you first start Jiu-Jitsu, you will not know much about it, maybe you have some ideas from things you have seen, read, or been told, but for the most part, it is the new and forging thing. Much like when you start on your career path, you might know something about your career field, you may have read about it, or been told about it, but you lack first-hand knowledge. Jiu-Jitsu, just like your career path start at the beginning, with lots of enthusiasm, some idea, and little experience. For some, the mediocracy disease kicks in, and you don’t take that job, or you don’t start Jiu-Jitsu; you just maintain the status quo, on the path to nowhere. However, if you take that first step, and just start, you are on the path to greatness. Jiu-Jitsu is a never-ending journey, there is always another technique or detail to be learned or discovered. In the beginning, we teach the foundations, the base that your Jiu-jitsu will develop from. Like a building, if the foundation is not solid, the building will likely fail and/or not last through time. When you start into your career, you have a foundation, maybe that’s a skill you developed or were taught or an education you achieved; it is the base that your career will be built upon.

Good Jiu-Jitsu teaches us how to develop different aspects of our base/foundation over time through repetition and pressure testing. We continue to learn and improve the details and later the micro details until we can perform them unconsciously. We test and experiment with different techniques, but we regularly revisit the foundation to ensure we are always on a solid base. We do this every time we come to training at our academy. We have designed functional drills and exercises to continually strengthen your foundation, making you more apt at learning more complicated techniques. We then expand our technical skillset, and test and drill the material in both static and dynamic environments. Static and dynamic learning and drilling help us to build confidence in the technique and know how to apply it in dynamic situations. This is something that is a constant in our Jiu-Jitsu training, it is so ingrained in our practices, that most people do it without much conscious thought. It just becomes “how” we do Jiu-Jitsu. This approach to “how” we do Jiu-Jitsu is also how you can advance your career.

At the beginning of your career, you have your beginning foundation, that knowledge and/or skill that started you on this career path. If you apply the lessons that are ingrained in you from Jiu-Jitsu training you will constantly develop your foundation. You will be inclined to re-visit and further develop your original skillset until it becomes so ingrained in your person that you just do it accurately and with little thought. You will then start to develop and learn more technical skills.  You might start in a static environment, that is safe and controlled like learning a new Jiu-Jitsu technique. This might take the form of reading articles about your profession, attending seminars or workshops, even on or off-job training. All of these are to give you examples and ideas to take your performance to the next level.

Then we test these new ideas and concepts in a dynamic environment. This is best done in a gradual approach. For example, you would not learn a new technique and then instantly attempt it in a major competition or in a life-and-death situation; that would likely yield an unfavorable result for you. You would more than likely, start practicing the technique with a partner that you are more experienced than, in the academy in a safe and controlled environment.  After you have started to develop success against that individual, you will start to apply it against someone of equal skill, and then someone more skilled. When the technique fails during this process, you go back and look at it again in the static environment, find where there are deficiencies, and start the process over again. You don’t just throw it out the window the first time it doesn’t work, because the vast majority of the time, the technique works, you are just doing it wrong, or at the wrong time, or missing a critical detail. We do this until this new technique is solidified to the point of seemingly unconscious thought, and then it becomes part of our base; then we move on to the next one.  In our careers, we would not get exposed to a new concept or idea, then attempted to apply it without first developing it. We would continue to study it, break down all the parts and pieces.  We would then look for opportunities to test it that are controlled.  This could be in the form of trying something at home or working with a co-worker, whatever fits into your career model. Once we have started to develop success in the low-level testing of our new skill or idea, we then slowly start to implement it into our careers. We make constant assessments and re-visit any areas that are not performing in the desired way. We continue this process until the new skill or idea has been developed and integrated into our normal operating procedures and improved our effectiveness and/or efficiency.  Here is an example:


Let’s say you work in a manufacturing capacity, and you run a product line. Currently, your line produces 100 items a day. You then read some articles about how someone in your field went to a lean-six-sigma workshop and was able to make adjustments to their line and now produces 150 items a day. The article gave you a macro look at how adjustments to the process speed lead to the improvement; but what it doesn’t tell you is how exactly they did it, just that they did. You wouldn’t go into work the next day and move all the equipment around and then speed up the machines; that likely would not end well. You would start to investigate the machine capacity of the machines you have. You might look closer at the process your line follows.  You then might do some testing, perhaps time how long certain parts of the process takes.  Then you would look at this entire process and find smaller areas that you could make small adjustments to.  Maybe you found that an employee must take the product from one area of the building to another. It takes that employee 5 min to carry that one product from point A to point B and then return. You might notice that in that time 4 more products are waiting for the employees to return. You then consider, what if we give that employee a cart so they can move four products at the same time?  So, you check the pathway the employee travels, ensure this addition of a cart meets safety standards, ensure the employee knows what to do, acquire a cart and give it a try. You measure and analyze the effects of this minor adjustment and determine that you can now produce 120 items a day versus 100. You then run this test for a week and see if it is consistent. If it is, it becomes a new normal; and your productivity went up 20%. Then like your Jiu-Jitsu training, you know there are always more areas you can improve. So you go back to the process, study it and look for other areas you can improve. You continue to make these adjustments over the course of six months, and now you are making 200 products a day that meet the same quality standards that the previous process sustained. You made a 100% improvement in six months. Who do you think will get promoted next? Who do you think will get that bonus?

Obviously, this is a very simple example, but hopefully, it illustrated how using the process that Jiu-Jitsu instills in you can have a direct and significant impact on your overall life.


But what if we fail? 


Check back for part 3: Growth through failure.



Previous additions:


Check out “Why Jiu-Jitsu” Part 1 (Self-defense perspectives) https://madsciencejudoandjiujitsu.com/blog/131659/Why-Jiu-Jitsu-Part-1-Self-Defense-Perspective-



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