123 Pounds!

Hard Training Tonight!

Everyone rolled hard tonight and gave our soon to be departing teammates some challenging Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Masters and Seniors World Championship in Long Beach, California.

Marcelo Pereira has also been working very hard on his training and feels just about fight-ready.  He’s very happy to have made weight two weeks before the tournament.

There was some great sparring tonight.  There’s a lot of good energy in this camp.  Everyone is having fun and training very hard.  Can’t ask for more than that.

Thank You Igor Estrella

For the last few weeks we have have the pleasure to host our new friend and very challenging training partner Igor Estrella.  Igor spent a lot of time with all of us and also traveled up to Robson Moura’s camp with Marcelo to help in their training camp for the upcoming Masters World Championships in Long Beach, California.

Igor with Marcelo Pereira at Robson Moura’s camp along with RMNU teammates.

We took a few minutes to speak to him about his background and experience while with our team.

Igor trains with Gracie Nova Iguaco under Andre Negao and Royler Gracie.  He has competed a couple of times in the Mundials and Marcelo says he is a name to watch with the ability to do as well as he wants to do.

This is one of the great things about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  No matter where you are in the world, no matter who your teacher is or where you train, we all belong to the same family.

Last night was his last night in Naples and we are going to miss him.

Best of luck Igor!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Values

Everybody does it: we tend to get caught up in things that really don’t matter.  Things like money, status, material objects and other superficial things.

One of the gifts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the values that it teaches its students.  One of those values is humility.  For those uninitiated to Jiu-Jitsu, you’ll never feel more confused and uncertain than when you start training on the mat.

And fear?  It transforms from something you dread and avoid to something you respect, and conquer.

Everything seems to be really unfamiliar, and new.  The techniques seem so difficult, and very complicated.  You’re afraid, sometimes.  You aren’t really sure you can do it.  Maybe you ask yourself if you will ever understand.

Until one day you start to put the pieces together.  For those who have trained for any length of time, you’re familiar with the personal growth that comes from sticking to training. The confusion gives way to familiarity and self-confidence.  That, in turn, leads to more humility and a new appreciation for the fact that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a journey, not a destination.

And fear?  It transforms from something you dread and avoid to something you respect, and conquer.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Naples Florida

After a period, you’re no longer the new guy, or girl.  New faces come (and some go).  And you realize that you just helped someone new with a technique or a position and you did it without realizing it.  Guess what?  You’re growing.  You’re evolving, and you’re helping others do the same.

You realize that you’re a part of a great tradition.  You learn the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, back to when Count Coma brought Japanese Judo to Brazil.  You realize that our teacher was taught by legendary teachers himself and therefore you are a part of the same tradition.  And it humbles you more.

Mitsuyo Maeda (Count Coma), the man who brought Japanese Judo to Brazil.

Which brings me back to the original point of this post: that in life there are many things that seem to matter, but really don’t.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches you this.

The mat is a place where you learn to be a better student.  And friend.  And father, brother and son.  This might sound corny, but it’s true.  I think it’s because the mat reminds us all that we are all very human, and that we have much more to learn than we already know.

It’s also the friendships that evolve here.  The feelings of being a part of a team.  The recognition that we’re all in this together, and that we all started in the same place.  It’s the respect that we feel for our teacher(s) and the recognition that everything good in life takes hard work and is worth fighting for.

What matters? Family, friends and doing good by other people.  Working hard.  Leaving a mark on the people that are close to you.  Sticking with your commitments.  Being there for the people that depend on you.

Join us on the mat.  You won’t regret it.