I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach Jiu Jitsu for a living. To best use such an opportunity, I have taken to the words of Stephen Covey as I seek to “begin with the end in mind.”

My goal for our academy is simple: to create an environment in which people from all walks of life come together to become better versions of themselves.

Using Jiu Jitsu as the vehicle for personal development, we will collectively work through the challenges that grappling presents as we ascend the ladder of self-actualization. Our modern environment does not give us the necessary challenges that create such virtue, so we must seek out such worthwhile struggle. Jiu Jitsu requires the practitioner to exercise the virtues we most need: to have the humility to admit one’s ignorance and rely on the help of others, to have the resolve to push through physical exhaustion and the perils of skill acquisition and the efficacy to implement the techniques with effectiveness and efficiency.

We first learn to practice such nobility on the mat. Only then do we come to embody these virtues in our daily lives.

My life has improved in parallel with my progress in Jiu Jitsu. The more sincerely I seek to understand and practice this art, the more meaningful and enjoyable my life has become. I have devoted much of my life to Jiu Jitsu, but I have and always will view Jiu Jitsu for what it is: a support system for the rest of my life. Stephen King expressed this best in his book On Writing:

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.”

Jiu Jitsu is meant to compliment life, not supplant it.

I want my student’s to have the conceptual framework with which to truly understand the significance of their practice, to see that Jiu Jitsu is basic training for the rest of our lives. Whatever our student’s goals may be, be it to lose weight, make some friends, or gain confidence, Jiu Jitsu has the ability to serve the individual in the fashion he or she most needs. We will foster an environment of cooperation as we seek our highest selves together through this medium, providing the fellowship that our culture so often fails to, while forcing us to grow in the ways our souls most need.

We are not MMA fighters. We are moms, dads, students, and professionals, all coming together to better understand this art so as to better understand ourselves.

Jiu Jitsu is the vehicle. Not the road. And it’s always more fun to carpool. Come help us become better versions of ourselves, by becoming a better version of yourself!

Want to read more about Jiu Jitsu? Check out Chris’s new book, On Jiu Jitsu. Want to try Jiu Jitsu for yourself in the Florence/Burlington, NJ area? Sign up for our Introductory Special now!