Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Didn’t Always Like Jo-Jo

I know it sometimes seems like I’m just a cheerleader for ECUBJJ and in some ways, I am. However, I’m an honest cheerleader. To me, the last 14 months have been nothing less than phenomenal. To my mind, ECU founder JoJo Guarin has done everything the right way – but I wasn’t always JoJo’s biggest fan.

In order to make sure that I keep my honesty credentials intact, I’ll admit a deep-dark secret – my first impressions of JoJo were not all positive. I thought he was mean and hated anyone who didn’t have world championship aspirations. As a fat thirty-something professional, you can see how I wouldn’t like that. However, I knew JoJo’s credential’s and decided to trust him for that one class and if I didn’t like it, I’d move on.

When it came time for sparring, JoJo fed me to one of the most fearsome Purple Belts in the class. I was arm-barred repeatedly, and was mad at JoJo for feeding me to the Wolf. Halfway through the round, between JoJo’s advice and the Wolf’s, I’d learned how to defend my arms. Years later, I’m still known for my submission defense.

A lot of times, the student doesn’t like what the teacher tells them. Even more times, the student doesn’t like the WAY the teacher tells them. However, a great teacher, like JoJo, finds a way to give and tell his students what they NEED!

As I got to know him, I realized that JoJo cares about every single one of his students. He’s just supremely adept at deciding what they need - “RIGHT NOW”.

As students, we’re not always ready for the lesson we need to learn. Our teachers know what we need, and they do what they think is best.

I love BJJ, and I’ve read a lot about it. Almost everyone says that the instructor who takes you from Blue belt to Purple belt is the most important instructor you will ever meet.

I got my Purple Belt from JoJo Guarin. I am blessed!

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