Legion 13 – What you’ll learn doing BJJ!

A few weekends ago, Legion 13 got together and had an ‘in-house’ competition. Legion 13 is huge. Legion 13 has over 13 affiliates, with at least 11 of the in Australia. Legion 13 has been founded by Grayson West. A 2 dan black belt under De Been Jiu Jitsu. It was a big event. People train at different locations, but when we get together, we’re one big BJJ family. Over 130 competitors. Our team trains in Ocean Reef (6 minutes from Joondalup) Every one doesn’t know everyone at Legion 13 HQ. Everyone travelled to Cannington HQ. The coaches know and have so much respect for each other. I have never seen BJJ martial artists support each other genuinely. No jealousy, one purpose. To enrich the life of their students skillfully and with life struggles. Martial arts teaches students respect, and when you belong to a family, respect is a non negotiable. Especially when your training partner is what you need to develop your skill set.

So this Sunday, at the Legion 13 in house comp, my almost 9 year old was competing. He’s been around to a few competitions to see some familiar faces. He watched his mates from our gym C2MA competing. He was calm. Some of his team mates won, some of them lost. Win or lose, my boy was cheering them on.

But then it was his turn. He freaked out, became full of fear and started crying. He’d seen his opponent. He was smaller than him. But my boy knows too well, just because an elephant is biggest animal, the lion is still the king of the jungle. He was competing against a yellow belt who was much more experience (one belt higher than him). With tears running down his face, at the Legion 13 headquarters he had to try and keep composure. Legion 13 members who knew my boy was encouraging him. Loving him. Affirming him. Building him up. Offering words of comfort. He stepped onto the mats with tears running down his face. One skill i credit BJJ and marital arts is teaching people to overcome fear! Because when you sign up for comps you don’t know your opponents skill level, size, weight excetra. Just as my son did when he looked at his opponent fear struck. But with the family surrounding and with the affirmation he needed he walked out on the mats afraid. Backing out wasn’t an option. Running away and escaping wasn’t an option either. Sometimes in life, situations arise where we have to step up and walk through situations afraid. Managing emotions and fear is an emotion most adults struggle with. So why not teach kids from a young age how to manage such big emotions.

He completed to the best of his abilities and lost. But he walked away with silver this time. Not just the Legion 13  competitions, but any competition teaches kids, teens and adults resilience. Bouncing back from failure. A competitor understands they don’t always win, and a failure is learning not losing. The more skilled person wins, and if you don’t, work harder!

Legion 13 often competes in state comps and it requires an army of warriors to be bold. Preparation is key. Having a plan and sticking to the plan that the competitor and their sensei usually discuss. Listening to their sensei voice shouting at them from the sideline encourages our students to focus. Another skill that BJJ and martial arts naturally teaches. I only touched on a few things but martial arts is powerful. Not only do you learn self defence, but you make new friends and belong. All welcome to start your BJJ journey at C2 Martial Arts, Ocean Reef. 5 minutes from Joondalup