#4 The Young Guys
Posted on 2013/11/12
The day Tsuyoshi leaves to train overseas is fast approaching. I guess he is heading overseas about 4 times a year, right? Next year in addition to Tsuyoshi, both Iwasaki and Yusuke are going to the European Open. Aki is going to go to the Pan American Open after that, I think.
The reason that the guys can make these trips is thanks to the patronage of a lot of businesses and supporters. It isn’t the case that these supporters are looking for an investment or some kind of payback from the competitors but simply put the general feeling is that “We just want to help these young guys.” I am really grateful for this. Realistically, if I were to shoulder so much of the costs myself I would really feel the strain.
I, myself have been on overseas training trips a number of times. Each time I went though, I had to pay my own way. I went to Brazil 3 times, and America numerous times. Saving money was quite difficult. I didn’t have any choice but to cut back on training time and work to save money. Perhaps I had my priorities backwards. But somehow I just had to get over to Brazil to train and study. I don’t think I ever even received any allowance or such. I guess I wasn’t all that lovable when I was younger.
In the summer of 2004, I finally made it to Brazil. I arrived at San Paulo airport and when I got off the plane and took my first step in Brazil the tears wouldn’t stop flowing. “Finally, I’ve achieved my dream of coming to Brazil.” That was a feeling that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
Since opening my own dojo in 2007, I haven’t been able to take any long trips. But there’s nothing to be done about that. At CARPE DIEM BJJ we have 3 full-time instructors. While we aren’t able to pay great salaries, they are able to live the BJJ life. That is a situation that I never had. I went right from student to dojo owner. While I was a student I was working and stuff but once I became the owner I was really swamped with a pile of administrative stuff. There was never a time when I could just think about BJJ only.
I am doing my best to try and give our staff the BJJ Life that I could only ever dream of. And I really want to grant them this dream which I never got to have. I know that competition isn’t everything but I really want them to do it. To stand on the winners podium at a major international competition in the adult Black Belt division. This should be their focus.
This is why I am pushing them to go overseas to train internationally. More than just going overseas to learn cutting edge techniques from the top competitors, it’s because I want them to become outstanding male adults. When you are overseas you can’t always communicate well, you get involved in problematic situations and you are restricted, right? I want them to be able to cope with these situations and use them to grow.
Actually, I am always all over them. Even when they catch a cold I warn them, “Its because you aren’t taking care of yourself.” or when they say “I don’t have the motivation for competition.” I tell them, ”Get on with it. This is work. The least you can do to repay everyone who supports you is to compete!”
When compared to other guys of the same age they don’t have any money and training everyday is tough on the body. But this is the dream of a lot of BJJ practitioners, to have this life style and I want them to remember everyday that this is the way of it when a lot of people are backing you and I want them to do their best. I just don’t want them to forget to be thankful.
Myself included, no one knows what they will be doing 5 years from now. Maybe everyone will be off on their own doing their own thing. You cant rule out the possibility of doing something other than BJJ. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. If we are all guys that can be respected and contribute to society then that’s fine. Their experience as CARPE DIEM BJJ instructors will be a source of encouragement for them.