Relationship Jiu-Jitsu

I’ve practiced Jiu-Jitsu, particularly the Brazillian discipline for a while. I’m on a break right now, for a number of reasons, the least of which being the Pandemic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t life lessons to be learned from the art.

Recently I’ve been thinking about relationship lessons I can learn. One of my favorite warm-ups is called Flow Rolling. It’s not fast, or aggressive, but you pair up, and each member of the pair takes turns slowly trying a series of moves, their partner gives a little resistance, but only enough to make it work, and at some point, they’ll take over, and the other partner will focus on resistance. It’s slow and methodical, and there is a push and pull to it. One partner goes at 55%, and the other at 45% and then they swap. Back and forth, back and forth.

Relationships are like that. If you’re both going at 100%, you’re going to burn out, but when you’re pushing and pulling, you develop a rhythm and it flows.
Vectoring off that, I’ve been thinking about training. If one partner is training, and the other is just laying there, then the active partner will get to practice the fundamentals of a move.

The thing is, a lot of moves don’t work without some resistance to feed off, and at some point, the practice becomes essentially useless. In order to improve you need to face increasing difficulty and resistance.

That’s how relationships work, you both need to grow, and you both need to help the other grow. It’s a dance, where both of you improve as individuals. If only one of you is practicing, and the other is just lying there passively, at some point you reach the inevitable point where growth ceases, and then, what’s the point?


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