The first day I entered the BBJJ Myrtle dojo was this past summer. It was during a very difficult time for me (economic struggle, just broke up from a long time relationship, low self-esteem, confusion about what was my next step toward the future), and I knew I needed to make a change quickly before getting swallowed by it. I remember I’ve walk pass the school a couple of times, always telling myself “I wish I could be doing that”. Martial arts have always been a passion for me since I can remember. Obviously, as a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut and a ninja. And as part of that, I started practicing Tae Kwon Do from 9 until 14 years old. I was just one belt away from getting my black belt, but economic struggles in my family forced them to take me out of training. That’s a spine that has always remained in me, wondering “what if?”
I was charmed into coming in by the introductory lesson/free uniform offer. I remember Miss Nova behind the counter greeting me with a big smile as always. She convinced me to take the lesson immediately, and just like that I started taking classes to see if I really wanted to do it. Honestly, I was amazed at how my body responded and how my mind could grasp so much in so little time. Like it was waiting for it forever and now it wanted to absorb everything. The training was hard, no doubt about that, but my head and my body reacted with ease to every new lesson. When it was time to say yes or no to the commitment, I only had $200 dollars on my account, no job, and only a job interview a couple of days away. But I couldn’t say no to my mind and my body.
From there, things have developed in a very positive way. I got the job I was interviewing for, my body is probably in the best shape it has ever been, my mind is calmer, my self-esteem is back. But more important, I discovered my love for jiu jitsu. Not only because it feels natural to my whole being, but because it brings me happiness in the shape of making others be better. I have always said that the only way that I can measure my knowledge is if I can successfully teach others what I know. When Prof. Lynch asked me what kind of black belt I wanted to be, my answer was clear: The kind of black belt that finds happiness in making others better. I definitely feel that I’m growing as a martial artist individual on a pretty fast pace, but I’m aware that there’s some slowing down already starting to happen and that’s a natural part of the process. What I can’t deny is the impact that I’m having on the people around me. I’ve lost count of how many basic students have trained with me and told me at the end how good I was as a teacher. And how many advance students have confessed their surprise at the level of my jiu jitsu at this early point. I don’t want to sound vain by any chance, but that to me is happiness, plain and simple. I’m going to hold on to this with all my strength, and hopefully I can become an official family member of BBJJ. I’m very grateful, and I just can’t wait for what’s next! Oss!