The Day I Quit BJJ

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

Very recently Jiu Jitsu taught me an amazing lesson about my faith. I am relatively new to BJJ. I have been training for a little under three years. I am in the blue belt struggle. However, I am lifetime minister and believer. My parents are ministers, one set of grandparents and my uncle and aunt are ministers. I have been fully immersed into a Christian ministry culture. I have spent 15 + years in full time ministry while earning a master’s and doctoral degrees. I thought I knew quite a bit about faith. I was wrong.

Near the end of the summer I felt my passion for the sport and training I love wane. Getting on the mats became harder. I picked up a minor tweak here and there; joints hurting. My mind started rationalizing how I could better use the money for my family. My schedule intensified a little bit with all three kids starting back to school. The excuses began to pile on. I found myself missing more and more classes. A couple of classes grew into a couple of weeks then I found myself out for over two months. Samuel and many of the guys continued to reach out.

I finally made a tough decision….I quit. I simply gave up on the journey. I contacted my professor, Samuel Braga and listed my reasons and rationale for quitting. I will never forget the day I quit. But then something unexpected happened; something that I am still processing. See, I train with a unique group of men. (I know you do as well) Samuel teaches a 6am class four days a week. We refer to our smaller class as the 6am Fraternity. Troy, a friend and higher belt, reached out to me for a breakfast meeting.

Troy reminded me why I started in this great sport. He told me simply that I cannot quit. We are family. What he did not see or hear was that while he was talking, God began speaking. Brothers don’t let brothers quit.

Brothers don’t let brothers quit. This phrase began to marinate in my soul. The Lord challenged me to pursue my brothers in Christ and lovingly tell them they cannot quit. There are times on the mat and in our spiritual walk where we will quit without our band of brothers to fight for us. We are one body yet many members and we need one another to hold us up when we cannot go on. If you do not have Jiu Jitsu brothers that will fight for you, you be the brother that fights for them. If you do not have spiritual brothers that will fight for you, you be the brother that fights for them. I am blessed to have both in one environment.

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. – Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

  • Written by Jeremy McGinnis

About Jeremy McGinnis

Pastor Jeremy lives in his hometown of Knoxville TN. He has been married to the love of his life, Heather, for 20 years. They have three children; Elise, Luke, and Ella Kate. Jeremy is associate pastor at his home church, Park West, where he has served in ministry for 16 years. He has earned a doctorate in Pentecostal leadership and theology. Jeremy is privileged to train under Samuel Braga, 6x world champion and 4th stripe black belt. Jeremy currently is a 3 stripe blue belt.

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