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January 12, 2018

by Prof. Bert Obernosterer


Sometimes I wonder why I stick with JiuJitsu, really.

Not because I don’t enjoy it; quite the contrary actually. But because for as long as I can remember, I have been rather inconsistent: As a child, then as a teenager and now as an adult, sticking with the same routine over and over again has never been something that I find attractive. I need constant motion, change; I guess that’s why I have always loved the quote in the headline above.

Or as Tyler Durden in fight club put it:

„Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart”1

If I get stuck in any aspect of life, I get frustrated.

So I started wondering.

Why am I still at home on the mats? Because let’s face it: We all hit walls sometimes. But the longer I train, the more walls I start to see, and I still it don’t get bored by the gentle art.

That’s weird, I thought, and I tried to analyse what makes JiuJitsu so different to other activities in this regard. After spending some thought on it, I realized that there have actually been not that many periods of stagnation on my mat-based-journey.

A lot of the times when it seemed that for every step forward, I took one step back, things still evolved.

But only now, in hindsight, I can see that even in times, when my performance on the mat didn’t necessarily improve, my points of view did, and so did my own, personal approach to Grappling.

From Self Defence to MMA to Sport Jiu, and also from a competition based approach to teaching to choreographed fights for films, and back again. It always kept changing; as did my priorities in life.

But why do I always return to grappling?

Why am I enjoying it as much as I enjoyed it ten years ago?

For me, it is about control. „Yeah, obviously it’s Jiu after all“, you might say, but hear me out: I don’t mean control over your opponent, which is a nice thing to have, of course. But it goes deeper than that I think.

I mean the illusion of control over your own fate.

I am not a religious man at all; I never felt a need for religion so far. The idea of life as an endless sequence of coincidences usually gives me a feeling of freedom. Yet the downside of this is that my choices too are driven by chance to a large extent. There is no complete control. That’s what makes life so interesting, but sometimes it will give you the blues.

Enter Jiu. When rolling around with friends and training partners on your level, you have complete control over your own, immediate future. You have a purpose that is laid out very clear in front of you. And all the tools you need you can acquire by yourself. The element of chance is eliminated.

I really think that this is one of the many reasons why I love the sport so much. Here I always sit in the driver’s seat, and the car goes where I want.

So I end this little opinion piece with the quote of a young man whose grandfather is a genius. No, not another Gracie. 😉

„Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere,

Everybody is going to die, come watch TV let’s roll!–Morty Smith²


Thanks a lot to Bernhard S. for helping me out with the grammar! 


1 „Fight Club“; Chuck Palahniuk

² „Rick and Morty“; picture linked from:



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