To many of us who practice Jiu Jitsu, we were drawn to it by the “gateway” known as the UFC. One fighter I could never turn away from was Chuck Lidell. Chuck was a long rangy wrestler with a heavy sprawl, one punch knockout power and a bit of a gut. He also fought with his hands down. “The Iceman” as he was called, always sported a legendary Mohawk as he finished opponent after opponent, usually in the first round. Pure devastation.
But the fighter who truly impressed me was Forrest Griffin, an absolute dog and winner of TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) Season 1. He showed you what heart was. Never the fastest, never the strongest or the most technical. No pedigree of boxing or wrestling to supplement his fighting. Just a tough dude with work ethic.
In Jiu Jitsu, we have people of every age, gender, race, size, weight and background come walking through our doors to begin their journey. Rarely is the big muscle bound beast the one who stays the course. In fact, they are the the exception. To make progress in Jiu Jitsu you have to feel what it’s like to be powerless. You have to accept that you are going to be dead tired with a bigger, stronger person on top of you, trying to suffocate you. Through this process your one’s true personality is revealed. Your fighting spirit, work ethic, intelligence, strength, mindset, all on display in a physical chess match against a worthy opponent. What you see over time is that the big and strong often do well in Jiu Jitsu but it is the tough who stay.