Saturday, October 17, 2015


I went to my first BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) Tournaments last weekend, as a spectator. I wanted to see what I was in for if I decided to compete. Several things happened. I will admit that I was a bit surprised at how aggressive the competitors were, even the little, little guys. Once I got over my surprise, I watched in fascination at how things played out on the mats from the difference in each ref to how each competitor reacted to a win or a loss to the spectators around the mats.

I was told the kids competitions were going to be more crazy than the adults. So very true. I walked in to walls of people with the decimal level pretty high as parents and coaches shouted. It was difficult to find a spot where I could actually see the matches taking place, but once I did I switched my focus from the competitors to the spectators and back.

Parents and coaches were yelling at their students/children. "Get to mount!" "Now arm bar!" "Hold him where he is!" "You've got this!" Words of encouragement and advice were being shouted from all different angles. With five different matches taking place, I found myself wondering how those poor kids were able to figure out which words were meant for them. Some of the kids would search the crowd until they found who they were looking for. Their heads would turn in what seemed like an attempt to decipher what was people said. I imagine that some kids heard the correct voice and some didn't. I found myself getting anxious for those poor children.

It made me think of the different voices we hear today. We are consonantly bombarded with all sorts of voices trying to give us advice, encouragement, criticism, and many other things. How are we to know which voices to listen to? I have thought about that for a long time. Do we listen to those voices that continually tear us down? Do we listen to those that are encouraging us to do something we know we shouldn't? Do we listen to those that are guiding us in the right direction? And how do we hear the voice we want to hear?

In all aspects we need to be able to decipher among all the voices that are shouting at us and make that decision of which one we are going to listen to. For this particular situation, those kids had to really know their parents and coaches voices in order to tune in and follow their direction. I don't know what was going on in those kids heads or if they were even aware of what was going on as they fought. For me it was a reminder of how and what I need to do to be in tune to the Spirit.

I saw the same thing over and over throughout the day. Yes the crowd thinned and there weren't as many spectators hovering around the mats but there were still teammates, coaches, and friends that shouted encouragement. It was really an interesting and fun thing to watch.

Throughout the day I had the privilege of watching some pretty amazing people compete. It made me excited about the possibility of competing myself. I also realized how in tune I need to be, not only on the mats but off the mats and in life.

Who are you going to listen to?

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