So what is beautiful BJJ?
(Guidelines Based on Thomas Aquinas' definition of Beauty...Taken From Crosschoke's Blog)
- Proportion: the parts of the system are no bigger then necessary and nothing is missing
- Clarity: no unnecessary complexity
- Integrity: the solution is well-suited to the problem
To me, this means, that the game must be complete. Instinctive reactions to any, even unknown, situation must come naturally. The aim of finishing an opponent efficiently, quickly, and completely should be achieved. No extra flair nor luster is needed when things are done correctly. To eliminate all space, to apply so much pressure, that in the end, when you are executing the submission perfectly, your opponent gives it to you because they are so uncomfortable mentally and physically, is what I see as beauty in jiu-jitsu.
Based on this, I have much to strive for. In my goals listed in the previous post on my blog, I listed the places I wish to go to pursue my elevation in the art and things I would like to do to progress. That said, it almost immediately became apparent, upon scrutiny of my current life situation, funding (lack of it), and issues with planning related to funding; that right off the bat, I will miss most of, if not all of the major tournaments in the first part of the year (including ADCC trials, European Championships, and Pan American Games) at least, and all of them through the end of the summer of 2009 at worst. Rather than agonize over how to find sponsors, worrying about how to exchange priorities in food and shelter for opportunities to compete, I had to ease my mind and let go. Refocus. The gentle art has always done this for me in one way or another, and once again, it came through. One of my goals is to have black belt level jiu-jitsu in this year. Not to receive the belt, though that is a main aim of mine at whatever time it happens. But the goal I wish, is to have jiu-jitsu that is "beautiful". To the learned eye, I wish my game to be complete, whole, efficient, and instinctive. I've often thought of, and mentioned to a few, that after a conversation with Xande Ribeiro about what jiu-jitsu was, and what was the aim, that I wanted to have "beautiful" jiu-jitsu. Not many , if any of that few truely understood what I said, because I could not verbalize it. Reading the post on Crosschoke's blog gacve me that epiphany though. I am greatful for it. Even when my soul is in turmoil...Even when my body is broken...Even when I feel lost and alone...On the mat, in the moment, I am at peace...Tonight, I start working on polishing the ugliness that is my game properly. I rededicate myself to this aim. The tournaments will come and go, no matter how major I find them to be at the moment, and when they are gone, the jiu-jitsu is there. I will keep those goals up and those I do not get to dispute, will serve as a monument to that which cannot be controlled, and deflected, then turned to aid me in progression nonetheless. Had my preparations in life been better, they would not be in question. My aim now, is to build my game, to a point that I have nothing that I "should have fixed". Everything else outside care for my daughter, work, and jiu-jitsu has to support one of those aims or it is gone. that will be my biggest goal of the year. If I can do that much, then I will achieve much more than I ever thought possible, even if there is no one there to see it.
Top-side resumes work tonight. Passing takes precedence, but the top side transitions and control will have attention. Sweeps come after that. Hopefully tonight, no matter whom I roll with, I will gain the pass, not only effectively, but efficiently, purposefully, and most of all beautifully. To let go of all I must let go of, internally, and externally to make my concentration complete will be extremely hard. But for my betterment as a jiu-jitsu artist, in the years I have to be able to still fully physically bring to bear my knowledge, it must be done. It may not be for me, to dispute those championships, and thus, the position I am in, but I am sure this art is for me....so, in my quest to make my jiu-jitsu "beautiful"...I fight on...
Thought For The Day: "Jiu-Jitsu constitutes the natural defense the weak person disposes of against the strong person. It is a sort of leveling process through which brute force, confronted and dominated by the wise application of rational mechanics, is led to admitting that the human being, usually taken as a body endowed with a soul, should actually be deemed a soul that happens to reside in a body" Grand Master Carlos Gracie (1902-1994)