Great Weekend/Seminar – Thank You to All

butch hiles 1st degree

I want to apologize for my late post, or my lack of responses to other posts on social media sites, etc.  I was extremely sick for at least a week and it progressively got worse with all of the things we had going on.  So, I wanted to take a quick minute and write a better thank you note to everyone while I had a moment and am just about back to normal.

This past weekend we had Marcello Monteiro in for a BJJ seminar, had a gym cookout, and held a public self-defense seminar for Crossfit WV and the surrounding community.  As usual, all the events went great and I want to thank everyone for their continued support and help.  We have really done some amazing things and we couldn’t do it without a true team effort.

We haven’t been able to have Marcello in for awhile due to our crazy schedules and multiple injuries, but having him in reminds me why I love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  BJJ is truly an art where you never stop learning and sometimes it’s an eye opening experience knowing that there is still so much to learn.

In 2004, I had just got my purple belt in BJJ and was feeling pretty good.  I had attended a large event in North Carolina, where I had rolled with, and tapped, dozens of other very good blue belts in order to get my purple belt.  I finally felt like I hit my groove, so when a friend recommended that I meet Marcello Monteiro, and have him down to train, I thought “Great, I want to see how I stack up against this other BJJ black belt now.”

I had already rolled with several black belts, and, of course, I had never won but on several occasions I did really good with them.  So, after doing so well in North Carolina, I was sure that I would really impress this guy.  Well, long story short, I didn’t do well at all.  I was tapping out every few seconds and getting thrown around the gym left and right by a guy who was half my size.  I had never felt or seen anything like it.  At that point, even though I was extremely disappointed in myself, I also learned that there was so much to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that I didn’t know.  In fact, I wasn’t even scratching the surface.  So, I had to make a choice right there and then… Would I continue on the path of learning or be content with what I already knew?  Because, I literally felt like I needed to relearn BJJ all together.

To most, that should seem like an easy answer, but when I look around at other gyms, especially traditional martial arts gyms, too many people are content on doing the same old thing every day.  They don’t continue to advance their game and they avoid learning the new stuff.  They are literally content being the “master” of what they already know.

Throughout the years, we have had dozens on black belts or brown belts from other martial arts gyms stop by to try out their jiu-jitsu.  Obviously, they find out that what they thought they knew wasn’t exactly what they thought it was.  The brown or black belt they have on their waste doesn’t equate into what they thought it did.  I always assume that they will make the choice to switch over, but 99% of the time they say, “I have spent too much time and energy in this art to walk away now” OR “I am only a few months away from my black belt and I hate to lose that opportunity.”

So, I have seen dozens of people offered the same choice as I was and they choose to walk away.  These guys are probably already the “tough guy” in their little group and, for them, maybe that’s enough.  Luckily, I chose to keep learning and passing on what I could to everyone I know. We are now eight years past the day I made that decision, and even though I am a first degree BJJ black belt, I still feel like I don’t know a thing when Marcello comes down to teach.  I am learning more now than I ever did before.

For those who don’t do true Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you may not even know what I mean by this and, quite frankly, it is difficult to explain to those who don’t.  Anyone can get on YouTube and study moves and anyone can get with a guy who’s done a little rolling and have him teach you what he knows, but the true understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an amazing thing.  It’s an art that is ever evolving and changing and you need to keep up with the times.

Someone who does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu never truly becomes a master of the art.  In my opinion, that would mean that they stopped learning and have mastered everything.  On the contrary, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner never stops learning and every day is a new adventure.

For example, yesterday, we formed a small group to study and piece together our new material.  It reminded me of a group who was doing research on medical cures or treatments.  Meaning, we had certain theory’s and we tried them out, for better or worse, to see if we were on the right track, just like a researcher mixing chemicals and hoping for the best.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is truly for everyone.  If you truly understand the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you will understand that you do not have to be big and strong, you just have to be smart and crafty.  Technique will ultimately reign supreme once you begin to learn when and how to apply them.

I want to thank Marcello Monteiro for helping realize what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about.  I want to thank him for making me continue to learn for myself and for the people who train with me.  I look forward to all the years of continued learning and training.

Finally, I want to thank all the people who celebrated with us that weekend and those who helped with, and attended, my self-defense seminar at Crossfit WV.  Our celebration wasn’t about me, it was about all of the things we have done together and continue to do.  Thanks for everything and thank you for all of the things we will continue to do.

Look for more big things in 2013 and all the years to come!

Butch Hiles

www.advancedbkj.com

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