From around 1998: Me, Floyd Sword, Rafael Lovato Sr, Josh Gross in N.M.
I believe there is one reason, one reason above all others, that I am still training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu nearly 18 years since I started.
The first time I saw Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. The first time I tried jiu jitsu, I thought, I don't want to ever stop doing this. Twenty years later, and now running my own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Baltimore, I still feel the same way.
The reason is the most important element to progressing and lasting in any endeavor.
That thing is having fun, no matter what. Fun before all else. I don’t care if I win or lose, do well or do poorly.
Jiu Jitsu is such a crazy, intricate, exciting, silly, confounding, rewarding activity that I never find time on the mat to feel drudgery.
If you have fun while you train, you will get better.
Fun first, last, always.
John David Emmett is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with an interest in movement and the Feldenkrais method. He teaches at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu in Baltimore.