The Fearless Warriors of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's Future
With lots of practice, I've developed extremely accurate sense of timing in photographing BJJ and MMA. My sense of understanding for the movement of fighters is from my own experiences as an athlete. I can recognize what's coming next based on their technique. This has contributed tremendously to my success in a very difficult area of photography--sports photography. Which is an area I hope to continue to build a career in. Through practice and working to improve my photographic technical skills, I've noticed improvement in my work. Some of my most recent shots from the Lone Star Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation's Youth & Adult Texas State Championships are good examples of when my two passions come together.
At Lone Star Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation's Youth & Adult Texas State Championships, I was reminded of why I love to photograph children & teens competing in Jiu-Jitsu. They are some of the most fearless and technical warriors I've seen on the mats. Not only do I enjoy photographing them in action, I love to capture the raw emotions on their faces. It was truly amazing to see how they tore it up. If only I could of been in five places at one time. I found it to be extremely inspiring watching these kids and teens on the mats rolling against each other. You could tell that so much heart was put into every match.
When I was in Brazil last year, I meet quite a few black belts who have been training since childhood. In most cases they had been training with the same people for over a decade. It has been said that kid's minds are like sponges soaking up everything around them. I found this to be especially true for many of these black belts. To them Jiu-Jitsu seemed to be as natural of movements as walking. Even though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to the United States in the late 1970's, it's still not as common for American black belts to have begun their training as children. However, there is another generation among us. The UFC has been the catalyst for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the US. The popularity of MMA fighting among this new generation has increased enrollment in Jiu-Jitsu classes all across the U.S. I am positive in time that the amazing instructors of today will breed a number of phenomenal American black belt All-Star in the years to come.
As a competitor, I can't help but genuinely admire the courage of these youth. I wish I could see the world through the eyes of a child. Why do our fears seem to grow bigger as we get older? Can fearlessness be taught or is it just an inherent personality trait? If you ask me, I believe that fear is the real culprit to success. It is fear that limits our capabilities and ultimately holds us back. Although easier said than done, by letting go of fear we can open doors and bring us closer to our true selves and natural abilities. We all have a warrior that lies within all of us, but it's only a few find the courage to bring it out!