Matthew Warner

Some Lessons from 10 Years of BJJ

Today is the 10-year anniversary of when I began my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. On March 4, 2013, just a few weeks shy of my 40th birthday, I signed up with Valley Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Staunton, VA. The gym has since turned into Total Defense Martial Arts, and I’m still there, now as a teacher.

BJJ has been one of the greatest journeys of my life. My thanks to Brian Rose and all my TDMA brothers who’ve stuck with me over the years.

BJJ teaches many life lessons besides the practical skill of self defense. Here are a few of them:

  1. There’s always someone better than you at whatever it is you’re doing. It doesn’t matter. Compete against yourself and not others.
  2. Stay humble. You have nothing to prove. Ego is a flaw and a liability.
  3. Control comes first.
  4. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. So stay calm, try to relax, and things might improve.
  5. There is always a new mountain of knowledge to climb. Be a lifelong student.
  6. Be regular and consistent in your commitments.
  7. Be present, and focus on the thing in front of you.
  8. It’s okay to ask for help, even from someone of a lower rank/age/whatever.
  9. Learn by teaching.

My oldest, Owen (13), has been doing BJJ for 7 years and is a certified badass.