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In a world that can feel increasingly polarizing and dividing, I’ve been pondering the importance of family more and more. In fact, if we could all realize we are one family — people who share in this amazing gift of being able to breathe on a planet that is so fine-tuned it will make anyone’s head spin — I think we’d all be in a better place. Obviously, it’s not that easy, but I’m finding, more and more, the importance of creating and structuring daily habits that foster a sense of inner peace, love, and connection.

For those who know me (and even for some of those who don’t know me), it’s no surprise to say I’m a lover and practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I teach it, I practice it, and today I’m here to advocate for the importance of practicing it as a family, and the amazing and positive blessings that can flow from this time together.

Connection

Anyone who practices BJJ knows it’s an incredible bonding experience. Not only does it foster a sense of confidence and connection with your Self, but it also does so with the people around you. You get to enjoy the successes and achievements of BJJ together and see each other through the struggles as well. Sounds like practice for real life, right? With all of the stresses and busyness of the week, it can be hard to get the family together for any real, quality time. By bringing the family together on the mat, you get to foster a deeper sense of connection while learning new skills and improving yourself, as well.

Activity

Switching over to the parents now for a minute. Are you someone who takes your child to a BJJ class and waits around without much to do? If that sounds like you, I recommend you think about getting on the mat yourself. “But Nick, I have no experience.” Don’t worry about that at all! That’s the whole point of practice — you will develop a new skill, bond with your child in a way you haven’t before and have a ton of fun along the way. It starts as a recreational activity for the child and then catches fire in the mind of the parent. I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Why wouldn’t it? BJJ is fun, it’s a great workout, and you’re learning invaluable principles of self-defense.

Exercise

This probably sounds too simple, but exercising together as a family is huge. As a parent, modeling healthy behaviors for your children is huge, and actions really do speak louder than words. BJJ, with the benefits it can bring to mind and body, is a huge way to display to your family the importance and the benefit of taking care of yourself so you can take care of others. Remember, you can’t pour into others if you’re not overflowing yourself.

Until next time,

Nick