The Cultured Warrior #065 | Are you buying your life on credit, or have you paid up front with time?

"If you think the cost of winning is too much, wait until you get the bill for regret."
~ Tim Grover

The Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) world championships just happened.  For those unacquainted it is The Olympics of submission grappling, taking place once every 2 years and whose ruleset was designed to test all grappling arts against each other (wrestling, judo, sambo, jiujitsu, etc.).

Of note, Gordon Ryan, at 27 years old (black belt record of 92-5, with 83% of wins coming by submission) became the first person to win ADCC gold in 3 different weight classes.  On top of that, he also won the absolute (open to all weight classes) division last year (the winner of which fights in the following year's "superfight"), and this year's super-fight against the previously 5x reigning champion.

Another young man, Kade Ruotolo age 19, finished every match in the 77 Kg division by submission to earn the crown as the youngest ADCC champion ever.  Oh, and in 5 of the 7 seeded divisions, the number 1 seed (top ranked) athlete was upset and didn't make it to the finals.

I'll save a more technical analysis for a more appropriate medium – YouTube and Instagram.  Suffice to say that metaphors abound for "passing the torch."  Time finds it unacceptable to rest on past laurels.

This is true on the individual level as well.  What makes you so certain that what you did yesterday was "good enough", let alone your best, or the best you'll ever be capable of?

Further, the sentence "tomorrow I will...." takes on a different meaning when it is preceded by "today I did..... , and tomorrow I will...."  Similarly, if "yesterday I did..." ends there, it is just that, an end.

Between January and August of this year I spent over 150 hours on the mat and another 80 in the weight room or on the track.  Combined, that's almost as much time as it took me to earn my Blue Belt in BJJ over the course of 3 years – now I did it in 8 months.

Each step will cost you more.  Failure isn't final, it's necessary.  Therefore, "losing" doesn't test you, it prepares you.  Every win will present a more difficult test.  It must.  If it doesn't, can you really call it winning?

Plenty of people use the adage of "soul sport" to renege or evade confronting anything that could destroy their frail sense of self worth, inextricably connected to the averted outcomes.  Ironically, this "sport" then does the opposite of developing their "soul."

This is one of the top reasons I don't give a damn what influencer X, Y, or Z says they do or what celebrity "athlete" A, B, or C claims they eat.  The "real ones" don't need to defend or explain themselves.  Winning does that just fine on its own – see the two men mentioned above.

Odds & Ends:

I'm not a fan of Gordon Ryan's (presented on social media) personality.  Though, I actually play both sides of the field here – I personally want to "act like winning is expected, like I've been there before"; and wholeheartedly believe that "if you don't like me dancing in the end zone, don't let me score."

There is no denying what Gordon has accomplished.  Much to the point I'm making here, Chael Sonnon explains this in a little more detail:

I've started uploading longer (still < 5 min) instructional jiujitsu videos on YouTube:

This week I appeared on the Sapien's Playground podcast, so stay tuned for the release!

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