For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
People often get a confused look when I tell them I believe that Jiu-Jitsu and Christianity are closely linked. It comes from both sides. Christians will ask how I reconcile fighting with being a Christian. I have to remind them that God is consistent from Genesis to Revelation. I actually believe one of the greatest mistakes modern Christians make is separating the God of the Old Testament and the God of New. They are one and the same according to the Scriptures. In Genesis chapter 32 we read about God wrestling with Jacob. Not just pinning Jacob, but actually injuring his hip. Then we see Jesus in the New Testament who is God in the flesh. If you have questions about that read the first chapter of John which says, "The Word became flesh and dwelled among us." Jesus was a real man. He wasn't some weakling as many would have you believe. When Jesus walked into a room people noticed. When He spoke they listened. When Jesus went into the temple He flipped the tables and drove people out. They didn't fight back. Jesus carried an extremely heavy cross up a hill after being beaten to the point of death which means that physically He was very strong. The apostle Paul made several references to training as a fighter. Revelation tells us that Jesus will come as a warrior and King who will avenge the fallen. Jiu-Jitsu people often think it's strange that someone who trains like I do can be so dedicated to God. They use the same arguments that Christians do and I give them the same answers. It really comes down to a lack of knowledge, which is really ok. I enjoy having the opportunity to educate people on both matters of faith and martial arts.
The Bible is useful for far more than a reference guide. I actually get a little irritated when the Bible is brought down to a just a few verses to be memorized. I would challenge anyone to read the Bible daily even if it's just a few verses. On each page you will find knowledge and peace to help you get through your day. I believe the words are living and that they penetrate the heart of anyone who would read them. When the lessons taken from the scriptures are taken and applied to our lives you start to see a radical transformation. Problems start to become viewed as only moments that will soon pass. You will start to develop a new positive way of seeing things.
So how does that relate to Jiu-Jitsu? James tells us that trails and tribulations are actually good for us because they develop our character. In Jiu-Jitsu you will learn lessons that you can't learn anywhere else. When you have a 300lbs guy crushing you with all of his weight it is horrible. In fact is so horrible that other problems seem to just go away. You quickly realize that this pressure is probably the worst thing you have faced that day. Then you realize that it's only temporary. The match will end and you will be relieved from that pressure. What you have learned is that no matter what the problem it's only temporary, it is passing and things will soon get better. You will also learn to take more and more. It's amazing to see the transformation that happens with students. New students tap out or quit a match really quickly. The more they train the longer they last. They get tougher with each training day. Before long they are completing rounds with extreme amounts of pressure and quickly jumping into the next round. The pressure of today makes them stronger tomorrow. After a year of training they have been through so much that their bodies have transformed. After one full year students often no longer resemble who they used to be. They are stronger, more confident people who know they can overcome. It's truly and amazing transformation. Jesus transforms us spiritually and mentally, and Jiu-Jitsu transforms us mentally and physically. Both bring us to be better tomorrow then we are today. Nothing can transform you spiritually like the Bible, and nothing can prepare you physically like Jiu-Jitsu. The only thing stopping you from getting better, is you.