What the sport is about

Sidelined with a knee injury, Ive started thinking more about some of the non-technical aspects of jiujitsu.

There is a photo in last month's Tatame magazine of Carlson Gracie, smiling, with his hand on Hugo Duarte's shoulder. It is the perfect image to capture just how much the sport has changed in the last ten years.

Things werent always so friendly. If you are relatively new to the sport, you may not know how bad things had gotten in Brazil at one point. Not only was there a "war" between Luta Livre and BJJ, but fights would often break out at nightclubs between jiujitsu students from "rival" schools.

It wasnt much better here in the U.S.. Nearly every tournament had at least a few punches thrown, and some erupted into small riots. The "hardcore" jiujitsu guy at that time was a little pitbull of a man with a shaved head and a pitbull tshirt. They still make their ugly appearances at tournaments these days, but their numbers have dwindled. In a few years, they'll be gone too.

I think the sport is too difficult on the ego for the "thugs" to stick with it.

"Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation."

The thugs usually find out that no matter how much they puff their chests out, there is always someone around to let the air out. Today's "hardcore" jiujitsu guy is more of a respectable athlete who holds a job and makes peace instead of enemies. Some even wear poloshirts under their gis...or fannypacks.

So my point with all of this is that we are involved in something awesome. I dont have to tell you how great it feels to bond with not only your teammates, but with people throughout the world who share the same sick interest in abusing our bodies the way we do.

Two things prompted this post. The first was Greybro's "MY Arnold's Journal" in which he and the opponent he choked out give each other "props" on their performances. No hard feelings, just "Good job, man."

The second was the fact that I realized what great friends Ive made in the sport. Friends from all over. Currently at my home is an instructor I briefly trained with while visiting Canada. My instructor also opened the doors of his academy to him so that he could teach a seminar and prepare for the pan ams. Two instructors from two different teams are now good friends and training partners. I dont think this would have happened ten years ago. Later in the week more friends (Steve72 and TPK) will be visiting and my world will be that much richer for it. Finally, in May, a friend will travel all the way from Sweden to stay at my home and train with us. I wouldnt have any of these experiences if it werent for jiujitsu.

We are so lucky to have found this great sport.

Honest to God, I got goose bumps reading that, Andre. Great post.

...And I also legitimately LOLd at Some even wear poloshirts under their gis...or fannypacks.


Those problems arent really jiujitsu issues. Those are money issues between paid athletes. Things were much worse before when people were actually fighting, and is some cases dying, in the street over whose school was better.

Great post, andre.

excellent thread


Great thread..

I agree 100 %

Nowdays here in Europe i see different teams respect each other a lot but few years agoo it wasnt like this..

I made some great friends trough the sport of bjj,mma and thanks to Andreh im a part of a great team...

Only downside to this sport are injuries and i am not talking about minor injuries but some serious stuff..

How is your knee Andreh?

great thread and post Andre.

you guys have no idea how lucky i feel to be involved in this Art and i look forward to many many more years of training.


if there was ever an ambassador for the positive qualities of our sport, it would be andre h. anderson.

great post man, and right on the money.

great post

good stuff

"...or fannypacks."

The fannypack in question is worse for the sport than TapouT

Andre, will you be at the pan ams? If so I'll be on the lookout for you.

"How is your knee Andreh?"

Getting better. The pain is almost gone, but the knee is weak and I cant bend it enough to touch my heel to my butt. But the fact that it has gotten better really has me relieved. Thanks for asking!

Thanks, usurper! No chance you are coming down for the Pan Ams?

LittleC, please introduce yourself. Did we meet years ago when we were all rolling around with Miletich before one of the UFC's? If you dont remember, I was just coming back from my rib injury and about 20 pounds overweight. I was rolled up like a burrito by Miletich. lol

Thats a really good sign Andreh..
Probably nothing serious since the pain is almost gone..

I remember him. I just saw him a couple of months ago. He was training at rAw.

Nice, Andreh. Although I really didn't think about the friendship aspect when I started BJJ, it has definitely been a big plus.

TPK, yeah, I really should have worded the title differently since it isnt really what the sport is about, but rather one of the things that makes it so cool.

Great post by theAndreh.

See you at the Pan Ams brother!

Loki, your friend is probably right. I dont know much about the jj scene in curitiba. thanks.