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Article: The Struggle

The Struggle

The Struggle

The Struggle
By Zach Danesh
The struggle is what life is all about. The struggle is the catalyst for growth, movement, and change. There is a practice that I've done for over a decade called Jiu-Jitsu. It is a martial art that encompasses wrestling, and submissions. The practice of Jiu-Jitsu, on a grander scale, is about training our mind/body to deal with struggle. This endeavor changed my life more than I could have known first walking into it.
I first discovered it at 18 years old in Miami, and hated it. Then, I was introduced to it again by a girlfriend who was a blue belt in it. I hated it again. The third time was the charm, and I found a dojo in Brooklyn. I stuck it out... but still hated it for the first couple of months.
I left New York City after several years, and was in a serious hole of depression. I found a small dojo in the town I moved to in Massachusetts. Soon after that, my little brother accompanied me to classes. Jiu-Jitsu saved us both, and made our bond even stronger. It was an art that transcended the study of movement. I took a leap of faith in this life path. I didn't have dreams of being a champion. I couldn't articulate what it was that I was doing. There was no money in it for me. There was no promise of a future. It did, however, launch me so directly into the present moment. It was a meditation. I would lose myself as I struggled to survive on the mats with giants. Over time, the tables turned on occasion. I found myself the slayer of these giants like David before me. There is a power in this knowledge, and it's illuminating.
I sacrificed a lot for this endeavor, but it soon paid back so much more than I could possibly articulate. I even saw it as a model for how society should be run. The micro of a Jiu-Jitsu community would be epic on a grand societal level. In a dojo, we all improve ourselves as individuals. Then, we help our fellow man improve themselves at the same time. We keep our individuality, but build the whole community at large. Everyone is essential. We all contribute. There is rank based on meritocracy, honor, and respect. If we could run the country like this then we'd be in pretty solid shape. You wouldn't have nepotism, backroom deals, or constant lying.
Jiu-Jitsu is the truth. It is a science, and there is an objective truth we are seeking. There is a more optimal movement pattern and a lesser one. When we teach a choke it becomes evident if the choke is being done correctly or not. The subjective is always an aspect in the human construct, but we agree that there is a truth. We may have different ways of getting there, but there is no double speak in Jiu-Jitsu. 2 plus 2 does not equal 5.
I think that was what I've been searching for this whole time. That is probably why I hated it, but kept coming back. That's also why my ego had to die. It was holding me back. There is a truth bigger than myself, and I had to seek it. I had to seek higher ground, and Jiu-Jitsu was my way to do that.
You can find Zach's Instagram here: @zachdanesh

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