Brazilian jiu-jitsu is non-traditional team sport. Unlike soccer, victories in jiu-jitsu are not determine by how well the team plays as a whole during the game. They are determined solely based on how well I perform the day of competition. However, without the assistance of my team, I would not have the tools necessary to win. My team is comprised of my instructors, coaches and classmates/teammates. I believe that there are many components that go into having a successful team. Leadership, loyalty, encouragement and guidance are key elements that contribute to success. In successfully working together, we bring out the best in each other as people, martial artists and competitors.
No team would be complete with out a leader. A strong leader sets standards, which the team is expected to uphold and abide by. The leader also provides an example of conduct, level of commitment and work ethic. Through strong leadership, the team has the ability to evolve into a force to be reckoned with.
Being loyal to my team, academy and instructors is especially important to me. Yes, an academy on the surface is a business (obviously), but for me it is much more than a place to work out. It is a family and partnership. Remaining loyal even during times of hardship makes a stronger team in the long run.
As I see it, every member of my team has something to offer. Regardless of how much or little we know in jiu-jitsu. I personally rely on the guidance of my instructors, coaches and teammates to further my growth. At my current level, I am more aware of the areas in which I need improvement. But sometimes I cannot see these loose ends as clearly or don't I know how to fix them. Being able to see the loose ends is also especially useful when offering guidance to others.
It is my responsibility and the responsibility of my instructors, coaches and teammates to function and operate together as a unit. How well this is executed determines the success of all involved. My team plays an important part for me. There are always obstacles to overcome and barriers to be torn down. I see this as an opportunity for growth and progress.
I am in this to be the best that I can possibly be. And as I move forward I am learning what type of black belt I want to evolve into. Regardless of where all of this leads to, I know where I started. That is perhaps where I will always be in my heart.