We often think about jiu jitsu as an individual activity. It’s your time, and you are on your own individual journey. It is a martial art for self-defense and helps self-growth. However, jiu jitsu can also be defined as a team sport.
Granted there are solo movement drills you can do, 90% of the time you are training with a partner. You are drilling with a partner. You are sparring with a partner. There is a instructor or coach telling you what you are doing right and where you need to improve. The time you are putting in, you are generally putting it in with your teammates too.
When you go to compete, you usually go as a team. It’s not uncommon to go to a tournament by yourself, but whether you go alone or in a group, you are representing your academy, your instructors. At big tournaments, they compile individual placings to determine team points, and team trophies are awarded. You’re supporting each other and cheering each other on at these tournaments.
There is also a deep camaraderie that is often formed among your teammates. After hard training sessions, seminars, or tournaments, you are likely to go out to eat. You are likely to gather for MMA fights, too. There is something special about friendships made when trying to submit the other person, but also entrusting your life and well-being into their hands.
Even though jiu jitsu is about the individual, you can not get better with out a motivating instructor and dedicated teammates. When they get better, you get better, and when you get better, they get better. You’re all coming together for a common goal and that’s to learn and get better, and that is what being a team is all about.