Brazilian Ju-jitsu Archives - Talking Guns

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Joe LutrarioJune 17, 20233min48150

 

Get “Back on the Mat” is what a fighter strives to do. It’s a place where self achievement and growth is measured through blood sweat and tears.  Yet the mat is not just a physical place, but a spiritual battleground as well. Yes, it’s a combative arena, a chessboard so to speak. However, there is another aspect, another dimension. A manifestation of a persona, an ideal. “An Avatar”.

 

It’s not just the physical fight or the pursuit of belts. It’s what transpires day after day on the mat, in the subconscious, and in the brain. Most will be called to this art for the obvious…the physical attributes, the knowledge of safety, security, the ability to fight. Yet those that dedicate time, effort, heart, and all of themselves to more failure than success come to the realization that this lifestyle truly is a journey through life, that without the knowledge, balance and confidence one learns, would be empty, lonely and superficial at the very least. 

Those that step on the mat consistently for years enter a safe place not of this world. It’s a world where the rules are plain to see and apply to everyone equally. A sanctuary where one can be alone with oneself, no stresses, or pressures from the daily, mundane rituals of the average life outside this realm. The ability to think without thinking, move without moving yet flowing without effort, is what draws these Avatars to this Eden on earth. It’s nothing short of an addiction to what can be in every aspect of one’s life.

 Simply put, the goal of this journey is to acquire enough knowledge, enough experience so one can take their Avatar off the mat and live by the laws of the idealistic world and utilize them in the world of the rest.

By Joe Lutrario

 

 

 

Photo by Mike Kovacs



Joe LutrarioMarch 1, 20238min102100

MOMENTS IN LIFE

There is no better medicine for the heart, mind and soul than rolling consistently. Are you
aware of how the benefits of Jiu Jitsu are more than just physical? Jiu Jitsu is an art that
exercises the mind as well. Practitioners are led to think only about what is indeed essential and
to let go of what is of no use and stressful.

According to Cardiologist Jose Mansur Filho (no relation to Grand Master Mansur), “Our health
hinges on the windows we open during our lives. There is ill-being in wanting things to happen
right away. That anxiety harms the heart… I tell my patients that our brains have several
windows. When we have a problem, that tends to be the only window we open. We must open
others as well. If in 4 years from now I ask you what the problems you had today were, you
wouldn’t be able to remember 95% of them”. *Quoted from an interview in “O Globo”
newspaper.

When we roll, we can’t stay focused on the initial situation, we must understand our position,
consider what is next and move… Observe, Assess and Move (O.A.M.). This all should happen in
a fraction of a second. Hesitation and fixation can be detrimental. We need to lose the blinders
and become problem solvers in the moment. This is not something that develops right away. It
is an attribute we strive to obtain. It’s something we all start to figure out at our own pace.
Never compare yourself to anyone. Each of us is unique, and that is the most fascinating and
inspirational thing we can come to realize.

Life off the mat is no different. We need to realize the challenge that stands before us, assess
the situation, and move toward the goal of getting through it. Essentially, we need to take the
blinders off!

Off the mat, there are specific moments in life that define us. These times carve us out to be
who we are today. When one looks back on these moments, it’s apparent that three traits are
present. Perseverance, determination, and tenacity.

Perseverance to weather the storm or ride the wave, determination to consciously not allow
failure or success to derail you, and the tenacity to move forward when it is easier to quit or
even compromise. This all may sound redundant but have the patience and faith to believe that
when examined in your own life, the differences will be clear as day.

Compromise…I mentioned the term above. Let me explain why I coupled it with quitting. I’ll try
and illustrate it with a quick story I once heard and will never forget. “There was once a cold
and nearly frozen hunter who found himself lost in the woods of Washington State sometime in
early January. The snow was falling, and the winds were blowing. The hunter placed his
backpack to the ground and was ready to prop himself up against a giant Hemlock tree and give
up when he looked at the beauty that surrounded him and thought of all the good times that
he had over the years and even got a bit excited about what could have possibly been. Just then
a hungry old grizzly that was woken by the growling of an empty stomach caused by an
excessively lazy spring and summer. Their eyes met. The hunter stumbled to grab his rifle, but

his hands were too frozen to hold on to it, the fear and panic was ever so present. The old,
grizzled bear saw a warm meal, but realized his swiftness and agility were way behind him. The
hunter thought for a moment and presented the hungry beast with a compromise. “I’ll give you
something to eat if you keep me warm”. The bear realistically could have devoured the hunter
but figured he’d play along and delightfully agreed. He watched with amusement as the hunter
grabbed his knapsack and began to remove some food for his “companion”. Feeling a new and
overwhelming grumble the bear did what hungry bears do and yet kept up his end of the
bargain”. You see the hunter fed the bear and the bear kept the hunter warm with a beautiful
fur coat! Compromise is not winning. In some cases, it can be used as a tool to avoid the
current dilemma but understand it is not always a final solution and one probably will have to
revisit the battle once again.

It is often said iron is forged in fire. While that is true, it is a limited explanation at best. Fire can
be a negative as well as a positive. Iron is generally forged during the strengthening process,
nobody tells you that we are constantly being presented with the choice of moving forward,
constantly being “re-forged” for new possibilities or conceding. We are always given the option
to continue or step aside. Weak people are defined by their circumstances. Strong people are
defined by their commitment. Their commitment to rise to the occasion and do whatever it
takes to overcome regardless of being on or off the mat.

This is what Jiu Jitsu teaches us. Stay consistent, stay dedicated to yourself as well as to each
other and most importantly believe in your journey.

 

 

 

Written by Joe Lutrario

Edited by Jason Mcdonald



Joe LutrarioOctober 1, 20224min56030

It takes years of consistent work and effort. Once achieved, a new journey begins. The responsibility should be clear. Passing on the experience and knowledge to those who are on the journey and in need of a teacher. For some this may be a burden, others a delight. In reality it’s a lot of both.

It’s not nearly enough to just pass on technique, it’s not nearly enough to show what it takes to win a championship, it’s definitely not right to be a selfish player in a sport, and it certainly is unacceptable to just take the character, the knowledge and hide it away from all those who seek it. The only thing that’s acceptable is to be a commander, a coach and of course a teacher.

You see, Jiu Jitsu is a lifelong journey. It’s a “Triade”, a word from French origin meaning a trinity, a triangle. One side of the Triade is the self-defense aspect. Jiu Jitsu was developed as a means of self-protection. A way a person can defend themselves in a real life- threatening situation. We all know the stories of how Master Helio developed BJJ for people like himself. A smaller weaker person can be capable of fending off a much larger, stronger assailant. Without this angle there is no second one, which is the sport aspect of Jiu Jitsu. A way for one to test and hone their skills in a non-lethal manor. An arena where technique and sportsmanship come together to raise each other up and aide in the development of everyone’s “game”. That’s exactly what this angle is…a game.

These two angels sit atop of the third angle, a base which is called character. This base is the one that holds all three angles together. Not only does it prevent warriors and athletes from tearing each other a part, it teaches us how to be the best person we can be in all aspects of our lives. As we march through this sojourn we call BJJ, we learn from our training certain tools. Tools that teach us, prepare us and most importantly build us.  The base of this Triade gives us the experience and knowledge to be able to set the right example to all those who we come in contact with. It carries the load of enabling us to be the best commander and warrior, the best coach and the very best teacher of life’s values on and off the mat with the purest of heart. 

Without the proper AND equal development of each of these angles we lose the perfect, purest system of growth. As a Professor, it is our fundamental duty to ensure that each student grows and develops their own perfect Triade so they can some day pass that perfection on. Without the proper training in all three aspects of Jiu Jitsu one can never fully develop and what a selfish tragedy that would be.

 

Photo by Mike Kovacs