Multiple Motivations

I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu for almost 10 years. Throughout that time, my training has remained relatively consistent and constant. Aside from a few minor injuries (mostly sustained from non-BJJ activities) and some travel, my class attendance has remained steady.  This consistency can be attributed to the multiple boxes BJJ ticks in my life. Some people may be able to sustain long-term dedication with a single motivation. Perhaps they want to be a world champion, or their singular aim is to obtain a black belt. Throughout my life, I have found different reasons to keep going back to Jiu Jitsu. When I take stock of the motivations that draw me into Jiu Jitsu, four stand out.

Knowledge and Technical Understanding

I gravitate towards Jiu Jitsu for the learning and mastery of technique. The thirst for new knowledge is often a great catalyst for training. Having an inclusive space to learn from an instructor and fellow students keeps eager students coming through the door. That thirst for knowledge can be specific. Sometimes I am consumed by solving a problem I see in my BJJ game. Other times that thirst comes with no questions, no focus and no agenda, just an eagerness to learn Jiu Jitsu.

Knowledge and understanding of the art is a powerful motivator.

Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Martin Seligman explains in his PERMA model of happiness the experience of Engagement or Flow. The state of being totally absorbed by a present task where time and self- consciousness seem to cease. Personally, nothing helps me achieve this feeling of flow more than Jiu Jitsu. At the end of a stressful or busy day, Jiu Jitsu allows me to engage and reconnect with myself. It lowers the volume on inner thoughts and expands my awareness beyond my immediate anxieties or worries.


BJJ is a technical and mindful pursuit but it is also a physical one. The fitness and health benefits of Jiu Jitsu are well documented and well observed by anyone who trains Jiu Jitsu.  If I take too many days off, I begin to feel sluggish and unfit. Some nights I go to training just to sweat.


On any given day, I may not be craving knowledge. I may not feel like a workout. I may not be in need of decompression. On those days, I still enjoy spending time with friends and training partners. A Jiu Jitsu academy often becomes a social haven, a close group of likeminded people and a surrogate family. The comradery, the laughs and the social environment are a draw card even when my Jiu Jitsu cravings aren’t present.

When I walk onto the Jiu Jitsu mat, it is rarely for a singular reason. Multiple motivations are always at play and they keep me coming through that door. The more reasons and the more motivations we have to do something, the more likely it is to endure.


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Eastside Jiu Jitsu Values Part 3: Humility & Strength

Eastside Jiu Jitsu Values Part 3: Humility & Strength

Our third and fourth values are ones that come hand-in-hand. At Eastside Jiu Jitsu, we believe in the harmonious relationship between Strength and Humility.  There is no doubt that through the training and practice of BJJ ones strength, in many areas, will grow immeasurable. However, without a deep understanding of humility and its importance, that strength will have a ceiling. Most Jiu Jitsu matches and rolls end with one opponent tapping out. In the most tangible display of humility, one opponent will admit defeat rather than suffer further pain or sustain a potential injury. It is only through this act of humility that students of Jiu Jitsu are able to grow their strength. By tapping out, we ensure we are able to roll in the next round or train the following night. Students who insist on fighting out of every submission and who refuse to remain humble seldom last long in a Jiu Jitsu academy.

Humility runs deeper than tapping. When you first walk into a BJJ academy, you will undoubtedly notice moments of great strength. You are watching people fight after all. However, if you watch closely, you will also see moments of humility in almost every interaction in a BJJ academy. There is humility in the way we teach others techniques, when we bow to our lineage, when we greet each person when we enter our academy and when we thank our training partners after an intense sparring session.

Jiu Jitsu, more than any activity highlights our weakness to us in each moment. It holds a mirror up to us and compels us to check our ego, know our place and surrender our will. If you can come out the other side of that process with your head held high then you have truly gained the strength that Jiu Jitsu can offer you.

The late great Carlson Gracie Sn put it best, “Always enter like a kitten and leave like a lion. But NEVER enter like a lion and leave like a kitten. Always be humble”.

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Our Lineage and Why it Matters

Our Lineage and Why it Matters

When people talk about their BJJ training or their academy they will often refer to their lineage. Much like a bible verse they will track, in chronological order the link each student has to the ‘source’ of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. But why is lineage important? Why should we focus on who taught our teachers teacher? At Eastside Jiu Jitsu our lineage is central to what we do because it elevates jiu-jitsu to something greater than ourselves.

Lineage is about respect

When you step onto a Jiu Jitsu tournament mat, you do it alone. Your opponent won’t be thinking about who your instructor is, and even less so who his instructor was. However, when you step on that mat or when you enter your academy for training you are doing so only because of the passion, dedication and hard work of greater people who have come before you. We reference our lineage at every opportunity to pay our respect to those teachers who invested in us and in doing so made us the people we are today.

Lineage serves to preserve the art

As an art form like BJJ grow, they run the risk of being watered down. While progression and innovation is important, with every decade that passes we push further away from the ‘source’ of Jiu Jitsu. While that gap will only continue to grow, recognising an academies lineage can help maintain the ‘quality contro’l of the art form. As we reference the grand-masters who have come before us we in turn recognise the standards they set and adhere to them. Progression in Jiu Jitsu is a slow and agonizing road. Respect and homage to our lineage helps maintain these standards. It ensures the art and standards grow with Jiu Jitsu and do not be a victim of Jiu Jitsu’s expansion.


Lineage keeps us humble, and humility leads to strength

A key component to progression through Jiu Jitsu is the recognition that humility is not weakness but that it leads to great strength and mastery. A common BJJ trope insists that students “leave their ego at the door”. Our lineage and the photos we place on the walls of our academy serve as a further reminder of how far we all have to go on our BJJ journeys. When we look at high hung photos of Carlson Gracie Sr. we have no choice but to check our egos and remain humble.


Our Lineage

Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlson Gracie Sr. > Carlson Gracie Jnr. > Ben Hall > Raph & Brad

We are proud to be bringing our lineage and our brand of Jiu Jitsu to Murrumbeena, Glen Eira and all of Melbourne.

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East Side Jiu Jitsu is an inclusive, family friendly and community focused Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy offering a holistic approach to martial arts and self-defence. As a member of the Carlson Gracie Federation, East Side Jiu-Jitsu is proud to be continuing the legacy of Carlson Gracie in Australia.

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