I Was Only Looking for a Workout

Life is pretty good at throwing all sorts of challenges at us. “If only I understood back then what I understand now!” – I bet this kind of thought often crosses your mind when you think about some past events. The magical hindsight.

One challenge, another – we learn, experience accumulates, but not as fast as we would like. Is it possible to ‘front-load’ some of those learnings? May be use a kind of simulator to test your behaviour under real pressure, with instant feedback! Hm…mock life?

You already see where I am heading with this. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) became a perfect life hack for me – the desired life simulator.

I walked into my first martial arts gym in 2012 looking for a change to a standard treadmill/dumbbell workout. Little did I know that it would affect my life in the most profound way.

Jungle BJJ Dublin Sweep
First, everything hurts – you body never moved this way before. Second, your ego gets crushed – the smallest person in the training room apprehends you. Without even breaking a sweat. Third, you start accepting that you there is a system behind this strange grappling exercise – you are terrible at it but hungry to learn! At this stage you are hooked – training penetrates your daily routine and the journey begins.

You then start observing that a lot of mental aspects of jiu-jitsu training somehow feel relevant to the rest of your life. For me, the frequency of these observations multiplied by a factor of 10 in 2016, when I opened my own BJJ academy (Jungle BJJ Dublin). These days, when it comes to training, teaching classes, and running a the gym, almost everything has clear parallels with my everyday experiences.

BJJ became my condensed reality where in quick succession and in an ever-repeating cycle I can :

  • Feel the physical and mental pressure
  • Make mistakes
  • Deal with consequences
  • Look for solutions
  • Succeed
  • Learn
  • Capture learnings and apply to future events

Front-loading learning and experience. Yes! It is like running a lab experiment by adding a catalyst, instead of waiting for a reaction to develop on its own.

This what Condensed Reality blog is about. I am excited to share my thoughts and experience with you here. I also hope that this blog will host many great conversations with interesting people about their experience and ways of going about various challenges. Condensed Reality will also include articles about Jiu-Jitsu training methods, mental health, and running a business.

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