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Thursday, 2 January 2014

So it's the new year and all that

I guess this is the time for looking back at the year which has just finished and planning for the new one yeah? Well, ok then...

So to review 2013, it was pretty awesome all round really. Two big things happened in my jiu-jitsu life; I got promoted to black belt and found out I would be running my own academy in 2014. The black belt was obviously a good feeling, but not due to the belt... just because it means Braulio is happy for me to represent him as a black belt, and I now get to fight the toughest guys in competition. Getting to run my own academy is awesome and something I have always hoped for since I started teaching full-time. I've always enjoyed the teaching side of jiu-jitsu and put more effort into it than my own competitive career, so to take charge of an academy is something I can't wait to do.

My own competition success was as minimal as it gets, just one silver medal, but I was sidelined a lot of the time through injury and hope to make amends for this in the coming year. However, as an academy, our competition success was absolutely immense. Our students won a total of 212 medals (74 gold) and we had 111 different medal winners (52 champions!) - only including adult grappling competitions. Most amazingly was that our overall top medal winner was a 16 year old girl who won 5 adult competitions, plus took 2 silvers and a bronze. Unreal performance for someone who is only barely in the juvenile division.

I've also seen a lot of my most committed students win medals and my classes have all grown and developed amazingly throughout the year. As much as the style I teach (a small amount of techniques each class with lots of tough sparring, as I was taught) must definitely put some people off, it is working well in the long-term... producing medal winners, tough fighters and breeding a great sense of team spirit and pride.

On the issue of not competing much due to injury, I had surgery on my knee a few months ago and it seems to have healed fairly well (although I have had some soreness the last few days). Hopefully it's all good long-term and my training won't be as fractured going forward.

Outside my jiu-jitsu life I had many great moments... I have seen my son grow and develop at a great rate, starting school and getting on really well. He's also done his first jiu-jitsu lesson which I hope will be something he will love as much as I do. I also celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary and 10th year of knowing my wife... still loving every day too. I feel lucky that all I do with my time is spend it with my family or train jiu-jitsu, it surely doesn't get better?

So, the year ahead... straight away I can tell you I don't do new year's resolutions. Goals can be set at any time, and setting goals means nothing, achieving goals is what is important. I made some of these a while back before my surgery and that's still my current set of goals, with the addition now of some involving running my own academy (usual stuff; produce good fighters, have students win a lot of medals, grow the student base etc).

But about goals/resolutions in general... I have a few which I always live by;

- don't be an asshole, unless it's necessary
- treat people kindly, unless they don't deserve it
- improve myself in everything I do
- always look to learn and experience new things

And that's it.

Now, there's nothing wrong with setting goals, but if you want to then make sure you do the important part and actually try to achieve them. Setting goals accomplishes nothing.

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