Checking the ego; For me, this was a very hard concept to internalize. First I wasn’t aware that I even had an ego… but found out that we all do. Ego by definition, is the sense of self-esteem or importance. Not only did I have an ego, but I was an egomaniac. So it took a lot of work to break that ego down. It took consistent work and awareness. However, since I have been aware and have worked on checking it every day, I’ve been happier and oddly more confident and way more relaxed. Instead of filling my life with a sense of self importance, I fill it with a sense of love and joy. Helping others be better has become my focus.

Growing up as an athlete, I was taught that winning was the goal. I was taught to hit hard, be better than your opponent, use your strength, and the harder and more strength you used, the more you were praised for it. Then something happened. I began training Martial Arts, and immediately learned that I had to think exactly the opposite, even though I still tried to overpower my opponents. Sometimes it worked, usually on people who had no technique and were smaller than me. I became tired of becoming tired and unable to continue. So what was the answer?

Now, every time I roll in Jiu Jitsu I have to check my ego. I’m not trying to win against my opponent. I’m trying to breathe. I’m trying to relax. I’m trying to be better at technique than I was the day before. I’m trying to make my rolling partner better. I’m trying to remember to love the fact that I have Jiu Jitsu in my life at that very moment. So I’m rolling with love and keeping it light and playful. This has taken my Jiu Jitsu to another level for me. It has become my own personal Jiu Jitsu, a true spiritual journey, on and off the mats.