I used to think that being a martial artist meant being a superhero.
You know, defending the weak, beating up bad guys, standing for truth, justice, and equality… it wasn’t until two years into training Jiu Jitsu that I realized how off-mark I was in my assumptions.
I want to make something clear: I’m not regretting anything. Every course, every training session, every humiliating fail I’ve had while demonstrating has taught me something. I know not to try to block a knife stab because it will destroy my wrists. I know that not every technique works on everyone. I know how much I should eat before training to avoid feeling like throwing up thirty minutes into the session.
I learned that there is no such thing as a perfect person, and going into a dojo every once in a while doesn’t grant you any special wisdom.
You learn by practicing and failing a lot.
You learn that you will fail more often than not.
You learn just how weak you are, but you may never really appreciate by yourself how strong you are.
Most of all, you start to respect other people, their safety and their bodies, even at the cost of being laughed at. If you’re lucky, you don’t take yourself too seriously; or even better, you get to train with someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously either.
And you learn that it is better to walk away from a fight than throw yourself into it.
It’s a revelation. Not having to fight.