Years ago, if you ever asked me if I thought I would ever be doing something like this [jiu-jitsu competitions], I would laugh it off and think of it as far off as becoming the next LeBron James.
Who are the people behind our brand? Ones that kick serious aspartame! You’ve already met Cerys, Director of People & Culture and obstacle course champ who inspires our team to actively challenge ourselves each day – both in an out of the office. Another is Geoff: professional accountant by day; competitive jiu-jitsu fighter by night. Sharing his journey with us, Geoff sheds some light on his experience with jiu-jitsu and provides some of his best tips for those who are interested in getting started in any sport.
Just show up!
No, you don’t need prior experience. No, you don’t need to shed some weight and gain muscle first. Just show up! Start small and don’t burn yourself out when you try something for the first time. Understand that becoming skilled in anything requires time and patience. Consistency over intensity.
Two is better than one.
While having one on one time with the coach is rewarding, training with a partner who has the same passion and goals as you make the experience more enjoyable. If it weren’t for my buddy, who was more experienced than me and helped motivate me, I wouldn’t have progressed as quickly.
Channel your ego into learning, not winning.
It’s not about your size, it’s about skill. A lesser experienced player will always be at a disadvantage. Don’t let this get you down and don’t compare yourself to others. Everybody’s got to start somewhere!
Be in the moment.
When I was a beginner, I lost every single one of my white belt matches. I was so focused on mapping out the game in my head, I wasn’t reacting to what was happening in the moment. But as we all know, things rarely go according to plan. The perception of losing clouded my judgement and prevented me from looking at the match objectively. If I were pinned down, I would think: “Oh no, I’m losing. This is bad” – as opposed to: “What can I do to get out of this position?” Now, my approach not to overthink. I simply react to what’s happening by applying what I’ve learned in training and rely on muscle memory.
Don’t fight fire with fire.
I’ve been able to apply my practice in jiu-jitsu to many facets of life. The philosophy with jiu-jitsu is very much about the smaller man against the bigger man. It’s more about skill, technique, leverage, balance, and momentum versus pure strength. With any obstacles you may encounter in your day to day life with your friends or at work, don’t go head to head. You’ll only spend more energy and time. Take a different path, find a different solution, and go around the problem.
Geoff battles it out for the last piece of PUR – literally Kicking Aspartame.