It was as I have pointed out in the past, a little bit different then living in Fort Worth Texas. Now it isn't near as big of a change as if I had say moved to New York or Paris. But it is still drastically different than the way I grew up. Fort Worth is much closer to New York as far as life style then it is Buffalo County South Dakota.
Going to the Grocery store here is never really farther then 10 minutes away. When on the farm you had to trek 60 miles to go to a proper Grocery Store. Movies, Museums, dinner, parts for equipment, and gas were all the same 30 to 60 plus miles away. As a kid it took me a hour to go see a movie, but I could walk out my back door and shoot a gun. Today I can walk to a movie but I have to drive a hour plus to go shoot my gun.
In fact living here doing what I do for a living. It has to be kind of a crazy thought for my Grand Father in South Dakota if he was still alive today. Growing up cultivating crops, and raising cattle, pigs ect... Fast forward 17 short years and I guess you could say I cultivate fighters now. When my grandfather was little they would have harvested corn by hand. Which would have been incredibly time and labor intensive. If you fast forward to when my grandfather was in his 20s. He owned a thrashing machine. And he had a crew that went around to his neighbors farms to basically combine their crops for them. This was still very labor intensive but everyone kind of still helped each other out sharing the work. This helped to offset the cost of a big expensive machine by helping his neighbors out. When I grew up my grandfather had a modern combine that he had bought and basically did the same thing with. It didn't require near as many people to run but the principal of helping out your neighbor was the same.
I would like to believe that I am still in a way carrying on my grandfather's legacy. Helping people to live a better, more productive, happier life. Not just fighters but moms, doctors, lawyers, police officers etc.... You might be asking yourself how. By introducing them to a different life style. A healthier, happier lifestyle hopefully. 150 years ago most of the world lived on a farm not that different then the way I grew up. Fast forward 150 years and the majority of America lives in a city. Away from farms, away from animals, away from nature.
You are probably asking yourself what this has to do with Jiu-Jitsu or MMA? Nothing and everything at the same time. 150 years ago everyone came together for harvest, to build barns, houses etc.. Everyone lived on there own but they depended on their community in order to survive. Today living in a big city with people are everywhere. Most of the time within ear shot, people feel more alone then ever before. Nobody cares to help their neighbors anymore.At Jiu-Jitsu it isn't that way. We all start from zero! We are all are trying to climb the hill, and if you don't help your partner we will never make it to the top. We all have to work together as a community in order for us to achieve our own individual goals of being the best we can be.
Everyone's dreams are different. Some people want to become UFC World Champions. Others want to become IBJJF World Champions. Others want to be the best in the training room, and some just want to stay in shape. But without our coaches and teammates none of it would be attainable. We all have to work together in order to achieve our goals just like the farmers and ranchers had to do 150 years ago. This leads to friendships, to family that otherwise we wouldn't have. It is our modern day community that we can lean on and support in every step of the journey. I for one am extremely lucky to have the friends and the family that I have. And almost all of it can be traced back to Jiu-Jitsu.
The other thing I believe that Jiu-Jitsu does, is it reintroduces us to being physical. In a modern world we can survive without sweating, without brawling. We do not have to push our physical limits on a regular basis. This wasn't true 150 years ago or 1000 years ago. Learning Jiu-Jitsu forces you to understand your body. And it forces you to take care of your body. It also forces you to acknowledge when you are out of shape. Farming and ranching use to make us do that but in the modern world it is to easy to ignore that part of ourselves. I am a lot different then when I moved away in 1997. I am older wiser but when I look in the mirror I can still see 20 year old me ready to take on the World. Now the only difference is I want to help you take on the World with me.