12 Lessons From Brazilian Jiujitsu For Those Saving the World

10.) Being There For Others


My coach Franjinha states that this advice is his secret to success in founding Paragon, a gym which boasts several world champions. I would like to share a story about myself in darker times. Before I joined Paragon and put on a white belt, I had many years of self-destructive behavior, especially involving sports. By the time I joined Paragon, my past caught up to me and I burned out in a few months. Ashamed at my lack of motivation, I desperately turned to Franjinha for advice.

At the time, Franjinha, whom had thousands students across several countries and has trained celebrities such as Paul Walker, barely knew me. I was just a college kid with issues asking for help on how to fix me. The first thing Franjinha said to me would forever earn my loyalty.

Although I have since moved away from the city and I will have many other coaches, Paragon will always be my Asgard. Franjinha’s words were: “is there anything we could do better? Is it something we could improve on?” 11-time world champion saying those words to a new white belt. That is humility. That is leadership.

As I assured my coach that the fault was within myself and he proceeded to share his wisdom, I already knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I knew that this environment was the place I had to be if I needed fixing. The more I stayed, the more I knew I couldn’t let my coach and what he stood for down. I attacked my personal problems with vigor and slowly but surely pulled myself into a better world.

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World Saving:

Very often, I see well-meaning individuals trapped so deep within theories that they forget how to be human. One case I witnessed was during a controversial debate between my school-mates. They were all esteemed and intelligent people; many very likeable as individuals.  The topic was regarding the events surrounding Ferguson; it might as well have been about starting World War III.

Both sides had members that brought up very legitimate concerns. No one listened to each other. No one bothered to compromise. Fuck building a better world. These people were more concerned with tearing each other a new one. The two sides were so busy promoting their highest ideals and mocking each other that they all missed the point of altruism.

It doesn’t matter what you believe in. It doesn’t matter what [insert group] truly stands for. No one cares gives a damn. People care about how your ideals lead you to treat them. When others have issues against the cause you represent, they probably aren’t attacking “what you guys actually stand for”. They are after something that makes them feel threatened.

It is an opportunity to reevaluate your believes. Are you guys going too far in some areas? Does your opposition have some insecurity they can be persuaded out of? Can you admit that your cause isn’t the end-all-solution? Can you expand your views to represent everyone’s interests? Look out for the interest of others and they will look after yours.

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