When you become a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner you begin to embrace new lifestyle changes.  Jiu-Jitsu is much more than an intricate, effective martial art; it’s a way of life.   When you first begin training you really don’t know what to expect.  At the least, you expect to learn how to defend yourself but if you take your training seriously you will soon learn that becoming a defensive player also means having incredibly quick reflexes, agility and overall a GREAT sense of well-being.  Lets say you walk into a Jiu-Jitsu gym and quickly learn past the basics into full contact training.  At first, you may find initially you have no stamina.  You begin to ask yourself,  “What can I do to increase my longevity in a fight?”  This will especially come to the player who enters tournaments on the regular in which case a person can fight upwards of 5 people.  Having a clean, quick, beautiful and EFFECTIVE art is the goal. But how can you accomplish this? You cannot roll 24 hours a day.  You will not progress by just physical training alone.  You must begin to break old habits. New lifestyle changes. 

People can have a hard time when they hear the phrase, “lifestyle changes.”  They begin to think about the implausibility of diet and fitness fads.  They think about the discouragement they’ve endured or they plain just don’t care because they appear to be, “In shape, “ or “In good health.”  But these are lies.  People can improve their overall health and well being without resorting to diets and fads, and I believe training Jiu-Jitsu makes human beings more susceptible to eating better, getting good nights sleep and enjoying life the way it should be.  Liberated.  This is what I mean by well-being

It’s a fact that exercise can help with depression, stress, etc.  Jiu-Jitsu is that and more.  It is also a creative art at that, think of how a chess player thinks, when you’re rolling your mind is getting the same stimulation but now you are being physical as well.  Despite what many believe about Jiu-Jitsu, it is actually a peaceful art.  People who train don’t want to get into fights with other individuals.  That’s a waste of time and energy, time and energy that could be spent productively on the mat to improve game not ego.  Or maybe it’s time and energy that could be spent living an improved lifestyle 

            The thing that makes Guillobel so special is the fact that it is located in the beautiful surfing village known as San Clemente.  Almost everyone at Guillobel has some affiliation with an ocean-minded lifestyle.   People surf, dive, fish, SUP.  You name it, we do it. And because we train Jiu-Jitsu and maintain an ocean-minded lifestyle, how we fuel our bodies is just as important.   I can speak from personal experience that anytime I’ve tried to get in-shape and eat right I always found myself unfocused and not really working for it. As a result my body was not being used to its full potential.  Of coarse I never realized this until I began training.

            I talked earlier about how you become in-tune with your body once you start training.  Once I began to eat better it wasn’t long until I began to crave nutrient dense foods (veggies, fruit, lean meats, plenty of water, ABSOLUTELY NO SUGERY DRINKS).  I can’t begin to tell you how easy it is for me to put down food that in the past I would have hated to even think about eating.  But because I am putting myself through so much intense fitness and my body knows that I can’t function without food rich in nutrition, I crave it and enjoy it more than ever.

Broccoli, carrots, peas, spinach, apples, oranges are all things I snack on the regular now and I know its because in the back of my mind I am telling myself,  “This is fuel and energy for that last bit.  When I am working a submission that requires a careful conservation of energy.  Getting my body ready to attack my opponent like a boa constrictor.” 

You’re going to find yourself with a perfect triangle one day. You won’t even realize how you got it but you did.  All of those hours on the mat and now it’s paying off.  You’ve got the lock and all it takes is the perfect angle and a little pressure right? Too bad the person your trying to submit is fighting for you not to get the choke. You both go at it.  You’re dominating and trying to finish the choke but its no use.  You’ve used too much energy.  It can be argued this person has bad technique, but that’s another blog.  Finding creative ways to conserve your energy and fuel your body should always be one of your priorities on and off the mats.

            The point I’m trying to make is that lifestyle decisions tend to influence and dictate our ways of living.  In the case of Jiu-Jitsu and eating right, they go hand-in-hand.  You cannot have one without the other.  For the practitioner who loves to train, this will be no challenge.  It will become embedded into you well.  Eventually eating right will take care of itself.  With the right motivation, discipline takes care of itself.