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VIDEO: Competition Team Reel

Forty-seven athletes and the coaches' irritated throats the morning after; we are proud of every single student for stepping up to the big stage to not only test their technical skills, but to learn who they are and how they react in the face of pressure and adversity.

On Saturday, 33 Crosley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu students experienced a Jiu-Jitsu competition for the first time. While not every individual has what it takes to succeed in combat sports competition, taking chances to find out who we are is what counts in the bigger scheme of things. And Jiu-Jitsu tells us who we are every day.

Stay attentive to the hidden lessons each time you step on the mat, and embrace the self-discovery process. A new threshold unlocks each time a competitor completes a training camp and competes. The ability to push yourself when exhausted, execute techniques without thought, deal with pressure, and handle your coaches' critiques while trying to balance life's obstacles. PERSEVERANCE.

Your opponent will show you your weaknesses; the homework is to identify the flaws and turn those weaknesses into strengths, which takes time. The sting of the loss is necessary to motivate more work. Most people exit from the competition path at this crossroads because there will be some suffering and pain to get to the TOP step.

The Champion makes it look easy because they have endured this process and put in the work and sacrifice when no one was looking. The higher the level, the more commitment necessary. There is no taking a break from Jiu-Jitsu if you want to be a high-level competitor. Like life, Jiu-Jitsu rewards persistence, patience, and grit.

Congratulations to all Crosley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu warriors who stepped onto the competition mat in Stockton this weekend! Whether you experienced the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, continue focusing on what you can control: how much you train and sacrifice and get to work!

"Defeat is only a state of mind."

Watch the video