The Jiu-Jitsu Practitioner’s Overlooked Support System

22 02 2011

Me, Kyra Gracie, and My Biggest Supporter – Miste

Behind every great jiu-jitsu practitioner, or any jiu-jitsu practitioner for that matter, is an overlooked support system. This support system is made up of numerous individuals who are essential to our everyday lives. These individuals may be people within our jiu-jitsu community that we may only see on the mat ranging from friends, training partners, and even coaches. The jiu-jitsu support system, as I like to classify these people, is necessary for the growth of one’s skills and mindset. However, there is another group of people who generally go overlooked and are just as, if not more, important than the jiu-jitsu support group. I classify this group as the personal support system. The personal support system is the quintessential back bone to one’s everyday life. These people may include but are not limited to; husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, parents, and anyone else whom one sees and interacts with on a daily basis outside of the academy. To the jiu-jitsu practitioner, both are extremely important and deserve recognition. However, in general, only the jiu-jitsu support system receives any praise. The personal support system deserves to be recognized as well. They truly are responsible for the jiu-jitsu practitioner being able to live the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.

The personal support system, as previously mentioned, consists of all of those in a jiu-jitsu practitioner’s life that do not primarily appear at the academy. Generally, these individuals are family or friends whom we come home to after a hard day of training. They do not always know how important they are. To them, they sometimes can see training all the time as an overzealous hobby that takes up way too much time. Between the being gone every single evening or afternoon to train, the exhaustion, the dieting, the consistent doing of laundry to keep ones stinky gis clean, the reading and watching jiu-jitsu in magazines or online, and the discussing of jiu-jitsu ALL the time, the people who provide the personal support system to us go through quite a bit on a daily basis. They see jiu-jitsu as a pastime and usually do not fully understand its intricacies. The people in our personal support system almost always never understand that jiu-jitsu is much more than a hobby or a sport. They don’t understand that jiu-jitsu is a lifestyle and to be honest, how can they? All they see is an activity that takes up way too much time and thought. What they also do not realize most of the time is that we are ever in debt to them. They sacrifice so much in order to support our lifestyle simply by dealing with everything we do.  Without them, living the jiu-jitsu lifestyle would not be possible.

For me personally, there are several key individuals who have supported me throughout my jiu-jitsu career and continue to do so on a daily basis. First of all, I have to thank Ms. Teresa Johnson for dealing with me on a daily basis and allowing me to stay under her roof while I pursue my dream. She may not know it, but I will forever be in debt to her for all she does for me and I hope she realizes that. Next I want to thank my parents for they are and have always been two of my biggest supporters. They consistently give me the encouragement to pursue what I love doing and I could not be where I am at today without their wisdom and support. Finally, and probably my biggest supporter, I want to thank my girlfriend Miste. She has been my back bone throughout my training and I know it has not been harder on anyone else than her. She consistently travels with me, shoots video, takes pictures, and has always been there for me through everything I have been through. I most certainly could not be where I am today without her support.

So, if you take the time to read this, I want you to think about who is in your personal support system and more importantly I want you the think about whether they know just how important of a role they play in you living the jiu-jitsu lifestyle. This post is dedicated to them. The ones in your life who may not understand the lifestyle that you live, but support you anyway. For this – we who live the jiu-jitsu lifestyle thank you…


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