12 Lessons From Brazilian Jiujitsu For Those Saving the World

5.) Don’t move the mountain. Move around the mountain.


This is a quote by my current coach Mike Tomacelli, a black belt under legend Joe Moreira (UFC 9). BJJ is about achieving victory by moving through the least amount of resistance. Successful submission holds and chokes are rarely forced using muscular strength. BJJ teaches its fighters to use superior movement to gain superior combat positioning. Once in a superior position, the finishing moves will open up. Moreira and Tomacelli’s philosophy is: if an opponent wants to move in one direction, let him have it. Why exhaust your strength resisting head on if you could outmaneuver, out position, and attack in another direction?

Saving the World:

“Fuck the system!” Sometimes, the system is just too big and too entrenched into the fabrics of society. Face it head on and you will barely dent it. Corrupt systems stay in power because they work for the people whom can keep it in power. I don’t deny that it is important to spread awareness, to make courageous stands, and to set up an organized front line. However, the bulk of an activist’s concentration should be focused on how to fix the problem from around the obstacle. Or from underneath. Or above. Or within.

When we meet strength with strength, our minds naturally become fixated on a narrow point. In a concentrated will to push through, we tap into aggressive feelings for added strength. Aggression pushes others away and blinds us from the big picture. We end up picking the wrong battles and expending far more for far less.

Often times, going up against the system toe to toe would be a horrible match up. Once the riots and protests begin inconveniencing the everyday working man, the system has already won. Once “the revolution” or “the movement” begins to arouse fear of economic destabilization, the system has already won. Take a step back and look for another way around the mountain.


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