Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and combines the striking and grappling techniques found in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing and Wrestling.
The mastery of BJJ requires intense mental and physical discipline and focus. The athlete is required to spend countless hours conceptualizing, drilling, and practicing a single technique in order to execute it flawlessly. Students learn that they must balance training with adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and positive relationships with teammates and instructors in order to excel as an athlete.
Practicing respect is the first value the students learn at Level Ground. Students and instructors must demonstrate tangible signs of respect by bowing as they enter and leave the mats, provide a verbal form of respect and understanding after each member speaks (by saying “oss,” a conventional sign of reverence in BJJ), and shake hands before and after sparring (which we refer to “rolling”).
The complexity of BJJ technique demands that students cast away their pride and embrace a teachable attitude in order to excel. Students learn that there is always a more knowledgeable person to learn from, which is reinforced through rolling. By rolling with partners that are more technical than themselves, they are placed in a vulnerable position in which they have to ‘submit’ to the other person by “tapping out.” We teach our students to embrace “tapping out,” as it serves as an opportunity to learn and grow.
The BJJ practitioner cannot succeed in a match by leveraging brute force, as they will become quickly exhausted when rolling with a more technical partner. Instead, they must re-direct their strength to the mental focus required to master technique. Additionally, every student learns to exhibit self-control in order to avoid injury to themselves and their partners.
Students are constantly humbled, as well as mentally and physically pushed to their limits. As such, they must envelop a strong sense of confidence, resilience, and tenacity to keep coming back to the mat. They learn that through a supportive team and their own self-determination, they can exceed their own expectations and strive for goals that they never thought were possible to attain.