helio gracie

When I was a kid, we played in the ‘tip’ (rubbish/garbage site). Neck deep in trash and garbage, perhaps took us some of the way toward developing strong and robust immune systems.

In nature, this process is referred to as Hormesis; wherein an organism, exposed to threat, comes up with a response that makes it stronger.

Think about it … It’s how exercise and vaccines work …

No one wants to be fragile; thats a state we reserve for orchids and faberge eggs; yet many people are. We can be fragile in lots of ways; financially fragile (we call that debt)- emotionally fragile – physically fragile, etc.

I have written about this before; because BJJ practice is a fantastic way to expose ourselves to physical and mental rigour, to the point where we develop a response and move toward being more robust … and eventually, anti-fragile (a step beyond robust, wherein we no longer just ‘cope’, we actually thrive).

When we are exposed to stressors (of all kinds), there is opportunity to respond; compensate, or even over-compensate … and therein lies a fundamental key to prevailing in the longer term.

BJJ practice provides us with a unique opportunity to expose ourselves to a wide variety of stressors. Although challenging, such exposure will eventually illicit a response and ultimately an adaptation that leaves us stronger for the experience.

My own experience on the mat has doubtlessly left me far more capable of dealing with hardship and challenge away from the mat. BJJ life.

John Will
5th Degree Black Belt