When I first starting training Jiu Jitsu my focus was on self defense, competition, and wining everyday. I didn’t take one second to think about the benefits that Jiu Jitsu as a lifestyle could have, not only on one individual but on a community. Fast forward about 10 years and for me Jiu Jitsu has become something completely different and something much more impactful than a confidence builder and the ability to defend myself.

Physical health, mental health, social interaction, cognitive training are all interwoven into the fabric of Jiu Jitsu. In just a few sessions you meet people from all walks of life, with all different struggles and you bond. I like to say you build a community. As Jiu Jitsu continues to grow and become more mainstream a simple road trip can expand your network across the country and take you places you thought you would never travel. To me, this is the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle.

Remember, we are there to forget our stressors, and to be better than the version of ourselves from the previous day. Do what brings you happiness and helps you fight your battles. Our mission is to help you find that balance, surround ourselves with like minded individuals and to build a support network. Join the community and help us build the team beyond the mats.

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Happy Veterans Day (observed). Today we had the pleasure of running our first open mat in support of veterans affairs, specifically suicide prevention, depression, and homelessness. About halfway through the event I found myself thinking about one of the beautiful things about this country, our support to our war fighters. We are free to disagree (and often do) about anything we want, health care, immigration, tax codes, Gi, No-Gi, ignoring 50% of the human body, but interestingly, we all agree on our support and commitment to our active duty service members and to our veterans.

In this keyboard warrior era where people feel like pressing “like” on a FB post equates to a meaningful contribution, today proved that there are still causes that motivate people to back up their words with deeds. Today’s effort collected a considerable amount of items, toiletries, coats and jackets that will go to MCVETS in Baltimore and help our veterans get back on their feet. For that I am thankful and truly appreciative of the Jiu Jitsu community. I also want to thank the people who do not train or could not attend but still sent in a donation. Your support will make a difference and it did not go unnoticed.

If stats are your thing, there was anywhere from 35-40 people on the mats, white belt to black belt with representation from at least 5 different academies from the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. A special thank you goes out to Ground Control, Columbia for donating the gym space, and to Wegmans for providing the snacks and beverages. We also appreciate the attendance by two of Trapp BJJ’s Black Belts who came out to train and roll with the group.

My only regret from the event is that I did not have the opportunity to roll with everyone. I guess thats a good problem to have as opposed to only having a few people show up and repeatedly rolling with them mutiple times. I set a priority and made an extra effort to  roll with those who visited from out of state / other academies and I’m already catching heat for “ducking”certain people. If we didn’t get to roll today I’ll see you next time on the mats.

Thanks again for the support and until next time, Keep Grinding