BJJ Passivity vs. Activity – The Culture of Watching

My friends, challenging yourself is living. Bring on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Yes you could sit and watch other people do it. You could dial in the fights, and you could grow fat and lazy while selecting your favorite active people to be fans of (and you can injure your back on a trip to the fridge for more beer).

But why would you? What possible rationale is there for healthy people to be settling for witnessing rather than participating? OK I get it, you could be recouping an injury, or getting over a particularly bad cold. Possibly you’re killing time at work by watching Paris Grand Slam, or Abu Dhabi highlights. The point is in a world of excessive amounts of vicarious living the chance for you to be a super hero yourself still exists, and it exists on our mat every day. You can, instead of watching someone else do arm bars or survive under a much stronger opponent, be that person yourself. You can work your own muscles, produce your own sweat, and even accomplish technical feats of martial mastery that we offer you. You will have actual experiences that you yourself can be proud of and perhaps pass on stories about to your friends and loved ones. You can build an actual skill set that you can not only enjoy practicing for your own edification but even pass on to others. Hell you might even gain some health from the activity!

I worry about the vicarious life so many have fallen into. I worry about a national obesity problem. I’m not surprised by it – eating is fun (and requires no help), and being passively entertained a kind of addiction that we are culturally immersed in like a frog in slowly boiling water. What is the answer for breaking out? Ending the pattern of passivity? It is a simple answer and the answer is by doing. Get up, and go do. We are waiting for you to start living your life! Let’s have some real fun!

Geoff Balme is a second degree black belt and the lead instructor at Open Guard Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing.

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