When Our True Hero is Not on the Mat

Into the Wilderness

The more you train BJJ, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you improve, the more stripes and belt ranks you are promoted through. It is said that you either go running full steam into a new belt rank OR you grow into your new belt over time. If you are lucky you will go through enough promotions to experience both. However, “growing” into your new belt can be a slow and lonely experience. Nothing you do seems to work anymore. Your training partners suddenly all seem to have the counter to your “signature moves”. You can’t gain position, you’re too slow, your timing is off, and your technique is non-existent. To add to all this, you don’t understand your instructors teaching, nothing makes sense, or you don’t seem to “hear” what he is trying to tell you. It can feel as if you have forgotten all you thought you knew about BJJ and there is no one who can help and no answers from your instructor, you are for now all alone in your BJJ walk.

When you are a Christian long enough, you will find there is a period of your walk with Jesus where it can also feel like you are walking all alone. These moments are sometimes when you are going through your toughest struggles. You have moved from a place of comfort, a place where you felt you knew what God’s plans were for you. You felt close to God and now He seems so far away. Before you felt supported, guided and inspired, but now you don’t feel you are hearing from God. Your prayers seem to be falling on “deaf ears”. These are the times where we are forced to remember that God is always with us and will never forsake us:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

This is just one example in the Bible where we are reminded of God’s promise to us. God is always with us along our journey, even though at times it may feel that we have been left to wander the wilderness alone. All you need do is turn to your Bible to read hundreds of promises that God has made to us.

As with your walk with God, keep on keeping on with your Jiu Jitsu. It may feel like your wandering aimlessly, but you’re not. Keep training, keep drilling technique, and keep listening to your instructors. It will all make sense again to you soon and you will feel the reward for having stayed the path.

  • Written by Shaun Beattie

About Shaun Beattie

Shaun Beattie is a BJJ Black Belt under Roger Gracie and Nick Brooks. He is the founder and head instructor of Areli BJJ in the UK. Shaun came to BJJ in 2003 and has been teaching since 2012. His passion for Jiu Jitsu goes beyond the thrill of the sporting and competitive aspect, but is firmly rooted in its unique ability to transform lives. Shaun has a history of playing high level sport and runs his own strength and conditioning business. This gives him a unique professional perspective on his BJJ teaching. However, his ability to bring out the best in a student he believes has a lot to do with his faith. Shaun is an active member of Hillsong Church Oxford in the UK and serves his church regularly as proud Christian.

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