What an inspiring day with the boys from Lovato’s School of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts along with Xande Ribeiro, Victor Hugo and the other Six Blades Jiu Jitsu representatives who attended the IBJJF Oklahoma City Open.
The night prior, Lovato and Xande gave beautiful speeches to most of the 88 competitors on the topics of mindset, giving your best, having fun, being happy and displaying your true self. It’s easy to get so caught up with the nerves of competing that you forget what matters. It’s important to stay in the moment, reminding yourself that you do this because you truly enjoy it. Like a dog with a bone, you love the art, and competing and testing yourself you could give a shit if you take first or not.
This is tricky because of course we want a gold medal, as we should. What we have to learn is to value our performance and display of the art over our ego. Bruce Lee was one of the first to promulgate this idea in the Martial Arts scene in the 70’s (see here). It makes sense you would hear it from Lovato as his father comes from the Jeet Kun Do discipline, the formless system created by Bruce Lee himself who valued self expression over any one discipline.
Lovato’s words must have struck a chord with the competitors as they certainly did with me because his dream of having a tournament in his hometown by a major organization and taking a first place team trophy WAS ACHIEVED! A beautiful day that could only be experienced watching Lovato take two gold medals in the adult division, at 37 years of age – in his weight and closing out the open class with Victor Hugo – in his hometown with both his parents and his academy there to watch it is something out of a movie. Congrats to him on realizing a dream that has been 27 years in the making and has finally been actualized, can’t wait to see what’s ahead!