The following words, are the start of what I hope to be an autobiography on my journey through Jiujitsu. Please feel free to read, leave feed back and share with others.
Everybody grapples, they just don’t know it. My life was a grappling match from my very first breath, being born with Cerebral Palsy, a doctor informed my mother and father that I would not have the best chance for survival. I was born pre-mature at 4 pounds 4 ounces, the oxygen had been cut off from my brain due to the umbilical cord wrapping around my neck several times. That same doctor would tell my parents that I would never walk on my own, let alone complete everyday tasks like feeding and grooming myself. He also told my parents that I would “grow out” of this condition, it’s always interesting how doctors try and resemble the grand creator of the universe. Thankfully though, my parents didn’t take the doctors two faced remarks as gospel. My mom fought tooth and nail to get me to gain weight, and my dad worked tirelessly at trying to get my small frame more mobile.
Mornings were always a fight, especially when I was at the age of started kinder-garden, or any early stage of schooling. It was especially difficult for my mom to get me dressed in the morning, due to the fact that my limbs were so very stiff. Almost like someone trying to pin a limb down in a grappling match, but the opponent does all they can to resist and fight it off. But as any experienced grappler will tell you, if you try and force and submission that isn’t there, often times you waste needed energy and open ones self up to counter attacks and reversals. Often times I could see that my mom getting frustrated because my body would not cooperate with her, constantly it would resist. She would close her eyes and take a deep breath and continue to complete the task at hand.
Cerebral Palsy in a nut shell, is a disconnect between the brain and the body. When my brain knows what it wants to do, the rest of my body reacts in its own way. As a result, miscommunication is the culprit. In spite of the resistance my body would put fourth, my mom would persevere under the pressure. Which is what you have to do both in stepping onto the mats and in life. Jiujitsu (as well as other grappling arts) are a reflection of life, the following pages will be a inward reflection of what Jiujitsu has done for me in all areas of my life. My hope is to serve people well in their own Jiujitsu journeys, regardless of the fact that one might be a seasoned black belt or just starting off. My deepest desire is that people discover that Jiujitsu is in its self, joy. It is a gift and something to be embraced and respected by all. Jiujitsu is part of what has made me the man that I am today, it has taught me lessons that I don’t think I could have learned unless I was on the mat.
I long to pass something on to the next generation of grapplers, for I believe that there is a lot missing in modern day grapplers today, in character, honor and respect. The way of the Bushido (the way of the warrior) is missing. Through out my journey, people have stated that I’m “obsessed” with jiujitsu, and that might hold some truth, but until one actually see’s, experiences and understand what the art of jiujitsu can do for ones life, claiming it as an obsession only derives from lack of understanding . Jiujitsu can do much for a person, if you let it. In many ways Jiujitsu leads one down a road of personal self discover, it can reveal things inside you, you never knew were there.
It can unlock physical abilities you never knew you had, most importantly it can create a warrior spirit and give you the ability to endure in all seasons of life. This isn’t only my journey, but yours too. My hope is that as you read the following pages, may your heart, mind and ears be opened. In order that the spec of knowledge that I have on this knowledge, may be passed onto you, and thus passed onto the next. The same way a rock in a pond creates a ripple effect that can continually pass on.