Throughout our lives we often hear people say "Money can't buy happiness", yet when we look around the world it's undeniable that this simply isn't true. Granted, happiness is a choice, but it's a lot easier to choose to be happy when you have the means to choose how you spend your time and take care of the people around you. When you don't have to choose between paying the electricity bill and being able to buy your kid that new toy he's been dreaming of, that's money buying happiness.
What we should really be saying is: "Money can buy opportunity, but it can't buy the most rewarding things". The things that money truly cannot buy are the foundations of a meaningful life: friendship, respect, talent, determination, integrity, work ethic, dedication, tenacity, courage.
These are things that some of the richest people in the world can't attain with money alone, and these are all things that you CAN attain if you stick with training Judo or BJJ. This is something often indescribable, which is why many of those who train say it is the one of the most important decisions in their lives.
What it comes down to is that Judo and BJJ are HARD to master. In life, things that are worth doing are usually hard, very hard. In my previous post, I wrote about positive mental and physical things that happen in your first year of starting Judo or BJJ. These changes and rewards all come though developing the dedication, tenacity and courage to work hard at something that is challenging both physically and mentally. These are things that have to be earned through years of hard work and cannot be bought.
Every year of training brings deeper and deeper rewards, and Judo/BJJ is very unique compared to other sports and activities. It's highly technical and physical. It's multi-faceted; mental and physical like human chess, and unlike man other martial arts you cannot fake being good at it. It teaches you to get back up after being knocked down, that you get back what you put into it, and that anyone can become and better version of themselves if they just stick with it.
Even the person with the worst technique will develop friendships that will last a lifetime, respect of their peers for having the dedication, tenacity to stick with it despite not being naturally athletic, talent that far surpasses those who quit, and courage to spar with those much bigger and stronger than themselves.
That is the beautiful thing about training in Judo or BJJ, if you put in the effort and you stick with it, you literally cannot lose. You will develop knowledge and skills that many would pay handsomely for. All you have to do is put in the work, and keep showing up.
This is one of the reasons it is so important to put your kids into Judo or BJJ as soon as possible, so they may learn the most important things in life. And for adults to take the plunge and don't wait any longer to start training. If you are struggling with finding meaning in your life, I cannot say enough about how life-changing it will be to start on this journey.
[Big thanks to Brennan and Leigh at Rochester JiuJitsu for inspiring this article]