Everything takes time to develop. I’ve known this for a long time when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, partially because I’ve been doing it for over a decade. I’ve seen a lot of people grow frustrated with it and quit. I’ve had my own frustrations.

I teach kids 3 days per week at Gracie Academy Philadelphia. I’ve noticed that the kids that progress the most are the ones that care the least about progress. They have fun, enjoy the ride, and work hard in the moment. They still care but the progress becomes a byproduct of the energy they put out.

You can’t come into a Jiu-Jitsu class and expect to learn much in an hour. You can’t make much of a difference in a week. However, you can’t get to a year’s worth of progress without that first hour, that first week. Without every bit of time it took to get to wherever you want to be.

I often use “trying to learn French” as my standard “what did you expect to learn in an hour, or one hour per week with no outside practice?” It seems that coaching is sometimes an endless stream of trying to find analogies that align with something the person in front of me can relate to. For progressive loading/training, everyone seems to understand that you don’t walk into a gym and lift 400 lbs your first try. Most people seem to understand that given enough time and practice your body will adapt to being able to lift that 400 lbs. And that is truly an amazing and inspiring thing.

Woe be the person that walks into a language class, or a gym, or a self-defense class and thinks that they will be able to leave that first hour with much in their new pockets. Learning takes time. Adaptation takes time. You have a certain amount of time in your life and you need to pursue what’s important to you. The reason of importance doesn’t really matter, or what I or anyone besides you thinks should be important. What is important to you?

That being said…

I can surmise that a lot of things you deem important to your quality of life involve the use of your body. If this is true, you can’t take your body for granted. Developed in a world far different than ours, our bodies rely on movement for health. And just like your greatest efforts to learn French, your skills and abilities must be kept up as regularly as possible if you want them to be easily accessible. If you work to maintain what you already have you can build on it. If you have to repeatedly start from a lower rung, you won’t get much higher or stronger.


If you want a body that works you have to work on your body. Put in the time and invest in what feels good and makes you function better as a human being. Model your life on what makes you work better as a living organism and a lot of things gradually fall into place. Your decision making changes. Your life changes.

Do it.

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