Having been around the Jiu Jitsu culture for twelve years now and counting, I continue to be amazed by what an amazing and fruitful community it is. I believe CrossFit was also very successful in this aspect of building a family.
One of the most interesting things to me are the lifelong relationships and bonds that are formed through it from young children to teens and adults. Now you may think that it is common in all athletic endeavors and practice but it’s not exactly the case. At least Daniel Coyle (Author of The Talent Code and The Culture Code) doesn’t think so.
In Daniel’s book The Culture Code where he shares the “best practices” of successful organizations: The Golden State Warriors, The San Antonio Spurs and the Navy Seals, he identifies three main skills they share.
Safety – Every member of the organization has to feel safe, in many senses which Daniel covers.
Vulnerability – True leaders show vulnerability, they are just like the people who may work for them. Consider the medieval knights’ round table versus upper and lower management.
Purpose – Everyone on the team must share a common goal. This helps get you through hard times, knowing you are all working together towards the same vison.
To expand on the last point, purpose, all the successful teams “suffer together”. In the military, families and CrossFit community you often see that the strongest ones are formed through shared hardship. It not only builds a bond and level of understanding for each other but equally a level of respect which is necessary for success in any relationship.
This is why I believe that Jiu Jitsu is in a league of its own. Not only can it be practiced till a ripe age (both of my parents who started at age 67 practice it, they are 67 now) but it is also unparalleled in the sense of bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds to improve themselves through this shared art.