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A week ago, I outlined a challenge to you to live a more minimalist life.  The challenge was to give away at least one item every day for the next 30 days.  The goal is that, by having fewer things to distract us, we’d be better able to focus on the things that truly matter.

READER CHALLENGE HEADER

Here’s how my first week went down…

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Pinterest 1

Keep your goals and expectations realistic.

Just because your child is good at BJJ now doesn’t mean she will excel (or even participate) later in life.

Is your goal to develop a well-rounded adult?

Or, are you hoping to have college paid for through sports?

If you believe your goal is helping your child earn a college athletics scholarship (maybe in judo or wrestling) or compete in BJJ professionally, you
may want to dip your toe in the cold pool of reality with these numbers:

  • First, the most simple math: There are nearly 7 million boys and girls who play high school sports. There are only 126,000 NCAA student-athletes who receive either a partial or a full athletics scholarship.  That means about 1 in 56 high school athletes will have the opportunity to translate their athletics success into financial assistance.
  • According to the NCAA’s most recent data, only 126,000 out of the estimated 350,000 NCAA student-athletes received either full or partial athletics scholarships.
  • In all but the most high-profile sports, scholarships are divided up and spread among many different student-athletes.

What this means in terms of BJJ is that it’s HIGHLY unlikely that your child (just by statistics and numbers) will be a world champion at any belt level.

Even if paying for college is your goal, you might want to focus on your child’s biology scores instead of her scissor sweep. If you compare total funds available for academic scholarships vs. athletics scholarships,  you’ll find that much more money is available for academics.

In fact, some educators have estimated  hat there are 30 times more scholarship dollars available for college academic scholarships than there  are athletics scholarships.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for my son to be the next Cobrinha, but I’m not putting all of my eggs in that basket  ^_^

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Here’s a helpful assessment tool to help you decide whether you’re doing everything you can to support your child in BJJ, or any sports for that matter!

kids-bjj-checklist

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kids brazilian jiu jitsu gis youth bjj kimonos

Parents often debate about whether or not their kids should specialize in one sport or play multiple sports. Which is truly better for kids?

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ok kimonos kids youth bjj grappling 2If you’re a parent of a BJJ kid, which by reading this, I assume that you are (or will be!), there are a few things that you really need to watch out for when encouraging your child to take up the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I’ve identified 4 “red flags” that should really serve as a warning to parents that they aren’t releasing their children to participate in the sport!

Parents, here’s a few things to keep an eye on:

1. You’re living out your dreams – Are you trying to live our your athletic dreams through the performance and success of your child?

2. You’re too involved - If you run a Facebook, Twitter, ang blog page for your 6 year old child and try to share in their success, you may need to step back and reassess.

3. You’re trying to be the coach – At a certain point, your child will know more about the sport than you do. If you’re still trying to coach them past this point, you might be doing more harm than good.

4. You’re way too serious - You might just be way too serious about something that should be FUN. Here’s some symptoms:

  • You’re nervous before his/her child’s game.
  • Your child bounces back after their loss faster than you do.
  • You take notes and film every match and force your child to review them with you.
  • You scream and verbally berate referees and officials at competitions.
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Keith Owen on why You Should Tap Ten Thousand Times

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READER CHALLENGE HEADER

A few days ago, I wrote a brief introduction to Minimalism and  mentioned why it resonated with me:

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

You can also check out an amazing article on the benefits of Minimalism.  When I have less things and cut out the extraneous crap, my life is easier and I can better enjoy the things that matter.

The shopping mall has become our temple, the credit card our burnt offering…yet, the sacrifice is never sufficient for salvation.

I want better health. Better relationships.  The ability to give my ‘things’ away to people who can use them.

I Challenge You!

For the next 30 days, give away one thing every single day.

That’s it.

Simple, right? (It’s not. Especially when you start giving away things that matter to you, but are of no use.  See below.)

Document It

If you have a blog, I challenge you to write daily (or as your schedule allows) documenting what you’ve gotten rid of.

No blog? Document it on your facebook page, twitter stream, or even your Instagram.  Post up a photo of what you’re getting rid of and maybe a bit about why.

Shoot me an email or comment below this post with a link to what you’ve written so far.

I’ll compile a huge list of all the articles I receive and link to them in a blog post after the challenge ends.

I’ve thought about giving away a prize for a few random participants, but obviously giving you material things as a prize would be counterproductive to the challenge, so it’ll have to be something cooler.

MUCH cooler.

Good luck, and I’m looking forward to your email!

A Confession…

I have to admit something here.

I already started the challenge.

I’ve been cutting out at least one thing for the past few days and as you’ll see in day 1-3 of the challenge, I cut out pretty easy stuff.  But once I started getting into things that meant something to me, it got really difficult.  REALLY difficult. So this challenge isn’t for everybody.  Maybe that’s why we call it a challenge.

I can’t wait for you to see this for yourself.

Cheers!

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minimalism

I have too much stuff.

This isn’t a humblebrag because most of it isn’t even cool stuff.

I keep everything.  Everything (literally) reminds me of something or has some sort of perceived value.

It’s a problem.  A problem that needs a solution.

Even my wife tries to get me to purge things all the time and I never do.

It got to a point where even mundane tasks were debilitating because I had too many options, and would thus choose to do nothing.  This is actually a common scientific phenomenon, but in reality…

It sucks.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs and I happened upon an article about minimalism and I thought to myself, “That sounds like something I need in MY life,” and I wanted to learn more…

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paulo miyao keenan cornelius

A brilliant short video chronicling rivalry between the Miyao brothers and Keenan Cornelius.

Motivating to say the least.

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This is how I feel after mailing out the kids gis that were collected to Drive In Jiu Jitsu in Rio.

Except it’s more of those moments right before the Hoth Ion Cannon fired and they weren’t sure the transport was going to make it.

Because these boxes still have a long way to go!  As I mentioned in my huge Gi Drive Update that I posted recently, one of my biggest hesitations was mailing these versus flying them there.

gi drive gis being shipped out 1

Packages to Brazil can be delayed for months, never arrive, or have insane taxes levied on them.  All of which could still happen with these gis.

gi drive gis being shipped out 2

I am by no means a photographer, but just wanted everybody to be able to see the boxes being packaged up and being sent out.

gi drive gis being shipped out 3

gi drive gis being shipped out 6

gi drive gis being shipped out 5

Also, in an effort for full transparency, I wanted to post below a brief breakdown of how the money was spent from the Gi Drive:

$312.18 – Money paid to Subculture USA to send gis to California. I later found that they had the gis to sent Brazil through Brazil 021, but this was never mentioned to me at any point. Either way, I’m glad the gis went to somebody.

$198.35 – Money paid to Subculture USa to make and distribute perks such as tees and patches

$198.24 – Money paid to Da Firma Kimono Company to make Gi Drive gis (one of the perks offered in the fundraiser) as Subculture was unable to make them at the time

$1582.59 – Money paid to UPS to send two boxes of gis to Drive In in Brazil.

gi drive gis being shipped out 4

That totals to $2291.36.  Subtract it from the $2558.16 that we had left after IndieGoGo took their cut of the funding and you have $266.80 remaining.  If we’re charged any import fees on the gis, this money will go to cover that and if not, it will go directly to Drive In to help him put new mats in his gym (or supply whatever other need he has).

Please track the journey of these gis along with me!  Use tracking numbers 1ZE385066793387187 and 1ZE385066760055490 at UPS Tracking.  If all goes well, Drive In should have them by next week!

Finally, I sincerely hope that others will learn from mistakes I made during this project.

I hope that it inspires more people to use their BJJ to help others.

If anybody has any questions about the Gi Drive, please post them in the comments below, email me at okkimonos[at]gmail.com, or hit me up on Facebook.

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