Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Our therapy
Updated: Apr 12
My jaw is clenched. My fist is tensed. The vein in my neck is protruding. My feet start to tap. I am locked in a frown. My boss talks at me but I do not listen. I cannot listen. Another addition to my workload could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. My cortisol level creeps higher and higher. Externally I appear frustrated. Internally I am irate, like a volcano about to erupt. I gaze obsessively at the clock; each passing minute takes an eternity…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. It reaches 5:30pm. I make my escape!
I step out of the office. I inhale deeply. My exhale relieves the heavy weight from my shoulders. My cortisol level begins to lower. My frown begins to subside. I walk. My internal GPS takes over as I gravitate towards the place where I feel free. I have made this journey a thousand times. Each time the same feelings; relief, enthusiasm, excitement.
I enter my safe place. I smile. My rash guard presses against my chest. It gives me protection. I look around and see my friends. Impossible to identify social status or wealth, both as unimportant as race or gender. When we are here, we are one! I know these people. I trust these people. They are happy. They are healthy. They are determined. They bring out the best in me! We warm up with a ‘light roll’. We tap hands. We bump fists and we begin. Jovial tranquillity makes way for deep thought and tactical concentration. We jostle for position. My smile grows.
In the corner of my eye, I catch sight of the clock – 8:30pm. I have been here for two and a half hours but it feels like I have just arrived. Time flies when you’re having fun! I continue to roll. It is hot in here. It is stuffy; a cloud of steam fills the room but there is nowhere else I would rather be. It is late in the evening, yet I feel more awake than after my morning coffee. I feel alive. My adrenalin raises higher and higher and I feel alive. I feel the blood coursing through my veins and I feel alive. At times I am breathless, yet I feel alive. With every passing minute, I feel more alive.
Each roll gets tougher as the intensity gets higher. My body is aching, yet I come back for more. My thirst for knowledge keeps me from quitting. It is said that your friends provide a snap-shot of your future. My friends are National champions, World champions! I want to be like them. They do not roll, they flow. They flow with exemplary technique. With grace. With efficiency. They move in ways that defy the laws of physics; they are heavy, yet they are light. They move quicker than the speed of light. They expose my weaknesses. Only then do I grow. If iron sharpens iron, I am becoming a blade.
The world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is mystifying. It is steeped in dichotomy. I arrive in darkness, yet I leave in light. I am exhausted. Exhilarated. Endorphins surge around my body. My central nervous system is alive. My body is beaten but only now can my brain thrive. At times, I feel helpless. At times, I feel frustrated. At times, I feel like a KING!
I am thankful to my friends. We learn together. We grow together. They support me. I support them. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is our saving grace. Our lifeline. Our therapy.
When I am down it raises me. When I feel dark, it comforts me. It is becoming a part of me. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is my therapy.