The super heroes of Jiu-Jitsu
Since a young age we are learn to love and worship superheroes; even more so without having the ability to differentiate fantasy from reality, we get from them the willingness to fly, climb up the walls, hang from spider webs, have infinite strength or have any other wonderful powers. When we are children, we believe we can do all these things and strongly be certain that our parents have done it or are doing it already.
As time passes and we lose our innocence, we learn that those powers are non-existent and we are able to separate up to the point of perfection, fantasy from reality. Most people, sometimes with a bit of melancholy, accept that all of those wonderful powers belong to our imagination and in the movie screens.
We learn to admire those who achieve incredible goals (without the need of superpowers); we guess that if that particular person managed to obtain a record by jumping long distances, defeating obstacles, winning fights or climbing really high, it means that, if it were us in similar circumstances, with the right amount of stimulus, maybe we could achieve that too.
Actually, all those accomplishments are linked to sports, whether amateur or professional. Further, EVERYBODY who follows that path dream of becoming the best version of themselves, because they see themselves as someone from the same species of that sportsman (and they are). That specie that is able to achieve amazing things, so, following the previous logic, “if we are all from the same species, we have the potential to do the same things”. Subsequently, during the training sessions that will make them specialists in the chosen sport, they begin to grasp that what makes an athlete a “hero” is his or her attitudes while undergoing circumstances that normally superheroes do not go through. For instance, daily sacrifice, not giving up while facing pain, getting up even when you are tired, leaving ego aside and bearing through innumerous deceptions and defeats in seek of perfection.
The naked and raw truth is that very few people are willing to pay the price. In addition, to make the process even more arduous, out of those few, even less will achieve the level of perfection they so eagerly desire. So, when realizing of this, most people give up or change directions, setting goals in accordance to their reality, but, nevertheless, praiseworthy.
There are those who refuse to accept their limitations and are willing to do anything in order to earn that superhero aura. Those are the ones willing to take illegal and immoral roads to get to the top. A lot of times using performance enhancing drugs that will allow them to recuperate faster from training, gain strength or lose weight more rapidly, etc. Some of them may never be discovered, because they know how to bend the rules and are well assessed, but sometimes, someone is caught red-handed.
When that happens, reactions vary from those who remain quiet to those who refuse to see the reality and still side with the athlete. The first ones may do so because they are also using enhancing drugs and are actually fearful of been caught as well (same logic applies to that whom steals and remains silent, or slightly defends another politician that has been exposed). While the second one’s logic is that to not support the competitor would translate into admitting they were deceived and that all of their admiration for that person fell down the gutter. What is worst, they would have to realize that those amazing prowess may not be reproduced because, at some point, they were always beyond the human abilities, they were achieved through artificial trickery.
As far as I am concerned, my sport related superheroes are those who have thought about giving up every day, but have found the strength to face one more training session, and at the end, sometimes they would win, sometimes they would lose.
Nevertheless, they always did everything humanly possible to reach their highest. When I see that, I feel proud and I think that if I were in similar circumstances, with the right stimulus, maybe I could reach that high, because after all we are human been, simply humans.
Written by Felipe Costa (Black Belt World Champion)