Life and Jiu-Jitsu with Mr. Jorge Navarro

4 min read
What is Success in BJJ and how does COVID Impact it?

Life and Jiu-Jitsu with Mr. Jorge Navarro

What is Success in BJJ and how does COVID Impact it?

Interviewee: Jorge Navarro

Location: Santos – São Paulo

In Brazil, it is prevalent for teenagers, adults, and children to look to sports as a way to succeed in life in many regards. In a country totally dominated by football, a collective sport seen and practiced on every street corner and alleyway, and yet, a martial art has been changing this scenario.

Over the years, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or just Jiu-Jitsu as it is called by many fans of the sport, started to seduce a large number of people of all different ages, both male and female. For example, there are plans to make the art mandatory in public schools in Brazil. The Gentle Art mixed with the welcoming Brazilian culture has made its way to every corner of the globe. The UAE is a prime example, with hundreds of thousands of practitioners practicing the art every day. The U.S. is also seeing University BJJ programs starting to lead the way for the first time since the sport came Stateside.

Speaking on what success in Jiu-Jitsu means, we found a beast of a man who is a gentle art practitioner and professor at a renowned academy in the city of Praia Grande.

Mr. Jorge Navarro, 31 years old, competing athlete, and black belt, who walks his path with steadfast determination when taking care of his family, is a prime example.

I asked how a man of his talents makes time to be a great father, husband, and Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Mr. Jorge responds:
“- In my life, there have always been several obstacles, countless people to make me give up, and that ends up making me stronger and more resilient in my goals.” He points out that the change in his conduct inside and outside the mats has improved for the better.
“I am and will always be very grateful for the discipline that martial arts have brought me in my personal and athlete’s life. I realized that patience is a virtue that I acquired over time by practicing Jiu-Jitsu, and giving it to people with behaviors and cultures totally different from mine made me a better man, a better father, a better husband.
I saw a remarkable similarity with what I learn and pass on to other people in my religion. It ended up bringing me great comfort and giving me the certainty that I was on the right path.”

Navarro, a born guard passer with a lot of pressure at his disposal, is one of the references in the Zenith Matriz team’s competition training in the city of Santos. From where many other strong BJJ practitioners like Marcus Bochecha, Fellipe Andrew, Michelle Nicollini, among other world champions, reside. They explain that competition today is not the main priority in their life paths.

This is due to moment-to-moment shifts in policy because of COVID and, thus, ever-changing competition dates. In these crazy times, success is a shifting topic. Success before the pandemic may have been, in one respect, one’s competition stats or the money earned in the last tournament. But during the pandemic and afterward, success in Jiu-Jitsu may often be more “how important the art is to your mental health, the brotherhood of the people you share the mats with, or the wellbeing of their family.” Which, after all, is what is most important, isn’t it?

Navarro closes the interview with the following statement: “Today, my priority has been to focus on training, my work, and my family. I always try to be great in all aspects. My family is my support, my ground, my everything, I live for them, and without them, I don’t live, this way I manage to share my time with my two passions, which make me feel alive, because Jiu-Jitsu gives me the strength to survive the chaos of the world outside, and my family gives me the love and affection to keep me focused on daily training.”

Photo by: Adam Nieścioruk

Navarro makes one of the most relevant and truthful claims a man can make, that “his family is everything.” COVID, as hard, trying, and life-altering as it has been worldwide, forced us to revaluate what is most important in our lives and to see what Jiu-Jitsu truly is about… being your best self, bonding with people from all walk’s of life, and making the world a better place one roll at a time.

Comment below with what you think Jiu-Jitsu truly means

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