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I think of the Self Defence component of BJJ as I would, the skin of a rice pudding. It’s there - sure - but the real good stuff is underneath. Besides, I am not going to spend a lifetime of training and study for just the ‘skin of the pudding’.
Okay, hold it down. I know this may cause a raised eyebrow or two … but hear me out …
People who say, ‘we teach BJJ for Self Defence’ - and who sincerely believe this to be the case - may well find out that they run out of steam/motivation, etc - at some point. Or perhaps they are the kind of person who just doesn’t want to do the work required to develop a deep understanding of the ever-evolving puzzle that is the art of BJJ. To keep up with developments, to drill deeply into a wide variety of topics - requires a lot of time, dedication and effort. Self Defence remains only at the surface of the art; no ‘continual development’ or ‘deep water exploration’ required. It’s the foam of the latte - not the latte itself.
I started out training in BJJ for self defence - this can be likened to doing my first paper-run for money - by now though (one would hope) my reasons for working are hardly for the pay-cheque alone. My reasons have evolved; and so they should. The reason we might start dating someone, may well because we like how they look - but this alone would hardly sustain us for a life-long relationship - there has to be more. Right?
BJJ for Self Defence? Sure - but that is only the initial ‘hook’. After that, our reasons and motivations should evolve/develop. But this requires effort, work and commitment.
Final thought - I am sure Warren Buffet’s motivation for getting his first job was to make a few bucks so he could buy something. But is that still his motivation? Hardly!!!