YogaCalmOne of the most common explanations I’ve heard for someone not showing up for training is that life is getting in the way and they’re stressed out. While we can all acknowledge how harmful and draining stress can be to someone, the act of rolling can become a form of therapy.

For me it’s my own personal time to escape all the other problems I may be having. I know they don’t just disappear from existence and chances are they will be waiting for me once I finally decide the leave the academy, but it’s a much needed break. Sparring requires a focus on the here and now, so it becomes difficult to focus on some issue you have at work while your opponent has just swept you and is digging in for a Ezekiel Choke.

For me it’s one of the very few moments during the day that my brain gets turned off. I’m one of those people that’s constantly thinking and analyzing gestures, facial expressions, and actions. So when I get to finally slap hands with someone and roll I jump at the opportunity.

Like Keenan describes in the following video it’s my version of meditation. When you say that to someone it might sound weird. How does anyone find peace while in a physical struggle with someone else? While on the surface it’s quite literally a battle played with human body parts, there’s a peaceful beauty in the exchange. The physicality of it alone is a stress reliever. The amazing feeling of peace I’ve achieved within the struggle has been incredibly rewarding.

31:00 Mark Keenan Cornelius:


Purple Belt Jiu-Jitsu practitioner

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