The Hidden Connection Between Men
As I look back I notice I've had some of the best conversations with my BJJ brothers after an intense rolling session. The topics were rarely about BJJ (or the latest BJJ technique of the week). It's usually about work, personal stuff at home or their faith.
To be honest, I'm not sure why I've opened up to certain teammates or why they've opened up to me.
... Perhaps it's the trust we've developed between each other on the mat?
... Maybe it's the endorphin overload BJJ produces?
... Or we're just going "soft"?
I couldn't really put a finger on "why". But, as time passes I've realized there's a deeper connection in Jiu-Jitsu than what we see on the surface.
What connection could that be?
Well, here's what I've experienced over the last 21 years. As men, we develop a certain "respect" and "trust" between each other on the mat, probably because...
the power of life and death is literally in our hands.
At any moment, either of us could cripple or literally take one's life. Hold the choke a little longer than you should and your training partner may never be the same.
Crank on the shoulder or heel and your fellow BJJ brother my never be the same father to his children.
But we don't.
Through Jiu-Jitsu, we develop this "underlying trust" for one another. A you watch my back and I'll watch your back kinda trust.
This creates and deep connection with each other.
Almost a "brother in arms" kinda connection.
... A connection we never knew we wanted?
... The ability to become vulnerable without giving up "the man card".
... Knowing "it's ok" to not be in control of everything.
As dudes, it's not "cool" to show our emotional side or allow ourself to become vulnerable.
But that's what Jiu-Jitsu is all about...
allowing ourselves to become vulnerable!
Think about it.
On the mat you will become vulnerable, A LOT.
... You will get your a** kicked (whether you like it or not).
... You WILL NOT be in control.
... You WILL submit to another man.
... Your ego WILL get crushed by a much smaller dude.
... You WILL feel like a loser, in the beginning.
And you know what?
You MUST be totally ok with it!
It's what makes Jiu-Jitsu, Jiu-Jitsu.
And as men, we don't know it but, we crave it.
Deep down, we want the ability to be vulnerable and, we want connection. But we may not know how to get from A to B and, even if we did, we don't...
... Want to lose our power as men.
... Want to look like a sissy in the process.
... Want to feel like a loser, watching from the sideline.
How do I know this is REAL and not a bunch of mushy bullshit?
After much time on the mat and falling in love with this AWESOME art -- wait till you get a small injury and have to take time off the mat.
You will be an emotional wreck and at first, you will not know why.
But, I'd say it's because of the deep [underlying] connection (through Jiu-Jitsu) you develop with your fellow man, even if it's not the reason you started BJJ in the first place.
Something to think about.
Appreciate ya reading man.
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Hey Hec, I completely agree. Being bullied as a child, I learned to bully others as a defense mechanism and it’s become a subconscious behavior for me to bully others when I feel threatened or afraid… but after getting smoked by girls and smaller guys on the mat, I know better than to strut around like I’m king of the jungle! BJJ is changing my life. Oss!
Great to (virtually) meet ya.
Thanks for chiming in and sharing this with me.
I was bullied most of my adolescent life too, so I know where you’re coming from.
How long have you been training?