There's something within traditional martial arts that I miss so very much, there was a time within martial arts history, where the Dojo was almost like a sanctuary of some kind. You kept it clean, students stayed after to clean it from top to bottom.
There is something about traditional martial arts (lets use Judo as an example) that didn't just build great Judoka's, but also instilled ethics and values within students. Traditional martial arts at one time in history was for lack of better words. Holy.
Again, with the Dojo being like that of sanctuary of sorts. Students did not use profanity in the Dojo, always showed up on time to class, was eager to learn and so on. The traditional values were not simply something to be present when inside of the Dojo, but also outside of it as well. It served as a compass for how one should conduct themselves in real life.
From my own vantage point, this is not something I've much of any more. I see the newer generation of Gracies still following the path of the Bushido (The Way of The Warrior), Sensei Erik Paulson is another (I know I talk about him a lot) and Sensei Roy Dean. I've never actually had the chance to train with him personally, but from watching him through different videos, I've fallen in love with what he has done with his school. The simple design of his school looks so peaceful. Further more the attitude of his students seems pretty top notch as well.
They don't seem to be out to hurt each other, but have such huge smiles on their faces even when they are being tested for their next ranks. Which brings me to the term "Smile-Jits." This phrase was coined when I was rolling with one of students after class.
She had me in the mount, and as I was working on not letting her have my arms. I look up at her and she has an ear to ear smile on her face. I said to her while protecting my arms "I love that you smile so much when you roll."
"Its fun!" she replied with excitement. That right there is the faint heart beat that needs to return within the Jujitsu community. So many people look so serious and stone faced when they train, and yes, there is a level of seriousness that comes if you want to excel within this craft or any craft. But the art of "Smile Jits" is something I want to spread to as many people as possible.
As I always say: Jujitsu is a gift, and when something is a gift. It is easily enjoyed.
In the next blog I'll discuss a few ways to keep your joy on the journey.