Attended the second of this year’s quarterly BJJ seminars with Marc Walder at Dartford BJJ. Great atmosphere, as ever, with a mat-full of people buzzing and ready to train. In deference to the warm weather, Marc taught a no gi seminar – not a strong area for me (I don’t know what to do with myself if I can’t grab a collar or a sleeve or a cuff). We rep’d hard and concentrated on flow beginning with a rear take down from T-clinch, then taking the back as the opponent counters the take down, ending with an arm triangle where the opponent counters the RNC.
A big high point of the evening was the promotion of one of the blues to purple. An amazing achievement which gave us the opportunity to hear some experienced words from Marc; getting a taste of Marc’s very centred perspective on training is a big draw for me. Coach and Marc both praised our new purple’s dedication and work ethic. In stressing the importance of consistency and committed training Marc emphasised the importance of finding a balance between training with sincerity and dedication while handling business off the mats. This is a theme I’ve often heard from more experienced martial artists such as Coach, Terry Barnett and Marc and it can be tremendously difficult to get it right. I suppose many people who train spend a lot of their free time away from their loved ones, which can be hard on home life, but equally they can struggle to know when to step back and have a rest or when it is time to push past current endurance. It is a fluid balance that shifts with life’s ever-changing context and the martial artist must continually evaluate her training regime (inside and outside of the dojo) to seek to maintain a homoeostasis between work, family, fitness and class time. In turn, striving for this balance represents one of the many bigger picture life lessons that I take away from training. Balance in all things, baby, balance in all things.