I first tried it in the 90’s, when my cousins told me they were doing it and it was the “cool” thing to do. Like most teens I tried it because I wanted to impress my older cousins and I wanted to be “part of the group”. I didn’t think much of it at the time, it was really no big deal. Looking back at it now, 16 years later, I realize that first session with my cousins was the start of a lifelong addiction.
Since then I would do it in spurts. Never really went out of my way to find it but when I did come across people who do it, it was that much easier for me to join in. I tried it again with some people I met in University but that didn’t last very long, maybe a couple of months. When I started working I came across some people that were really heavy into it, these guys were seriously addicted. Although I joined some of their sessions, I didn’t allow myself to get hooked. I had a lot of other priorities at that time and I didn’t want to lose my focus.
This year, 2015, at 36 years of age I’d have to admit that I’m a full-blown addict. It consumes my thoughts day and night. It affects every aspect of my life now. My work my personal life, the way I deal with problems the way I interact with people. Everything. I find myself sneaking out at night, sometimes 6 days a week to join a session. I’d be gone for hours.
It’s sounds bad, I know, but jiu-jitsu has really made a positive impact in my life. I always encourage my friends and family to try this art. People from all walks of life practice Jiu-jitsu. I haven’t met anyone that’s regretted putting on that BJJ Gi!
An estimated 2,000 people attended the event over the course of two days. The organizers awarded a bronze, sliver and gold medal winner for each division. Not all participants received a medal however as the great Rickson Gracie once said, “Sometimes you don’t have to win. You cannot win. But that has nothing to do with losing.”
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu scene in the Philippines is definitely thriving. Don’t be the only one left standing, find the nearest gym near you and sign up to Slap, Bump & Roll!
This past weekend at Commercenter in Alabang it became apparent that I’m not alone in my addiction. Filipino men and women across the country attended ArteSuave Manila to test their skills against other BJJ practitioners. Those that didn’t compete came to watch and support their teammates.
It was amazing to see the diversity of BJJ practitioners that attended the event. They had competitors as young as 19 and some almost in their 40’s. Participants that are professional MMA fighters in the local MMA scene and even some UFC fighters. I saw engineers, students , lawyers and business men all giving 110% to taste BJJ glory.