Prof. Carlos Lemos on Jiu-jitsu Attitude and the Pandemic

October 19, 2020by bigpromoter0
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“It’s exactly like a Jiu-Jitsu match. Your whole life is a Jiu-Jitsu match…”
Meet Prof. Carlos Lemos Jr., a 5th-degree black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and the head instructor and owner of Gracie Barra Downers Grove, Illinois.
This week, Gracie Barra talks with Prof. Carlos about how he was able to apply the lessons of jiu-jitsu on and off the mats during the time of the global pandemic.
GB: How have you been able to apply what you have learned in Jiu-Jitsu to your life outside of the mats (especially during the pandemic)?
Prof. Carlos: This is a great question. Especially how I am using what I learned in Jiu-Jitsu during the pandemic.
I definitely applied a lot of Jiu-Jitsu concepts.
A lot of my students say ‘Man, the way you talk, the way you interact with people, the way that you do things’… I hear that all of the time from my students.
It’s exactly like a Jiu-Jitsu match. Your whole life is a Jiu-Jitsu match! I heard that multiple times from my coaches, from my students. One can’t help but to transcend the mats with the Jiu-Jitsu knowledge.
Definitely, I saw a lot of people getting depressed. That reflected in the world economy. That reflects in the countries. That even reflected in the microcosm of the family. I saw friends becoming enemies. I saw students canceling memberships. I saw family members fighting each other. All because of the stress and the uncertainty of the pandemic.
But I didn’t see much of that in the active Jiu-Jitsu community. The pandemic was nothing but a tough fight for all of us. We got caught by surprise. That threw us, passed our guard, and got a knee on our belly.
What do you do now? Do you panic? Do you turn onto your belly and give up? Or…do you breathe, assess the situation, and start to patiently work for an escape?
This is exactly what we did and how we approach the whole situation. That approach enabled us to help so many of our students that are studying with us. To help so many people in our community, family members, people around us. Because we know that patience is the way of Jiu-Jitsu. You can’t panic. You can’t rush.
Of course, we are not in a comfortable spot. We worked more than ever. We offered virtual classes, every day. We did an “SOS” phone call to all of our students, a Gracie Barra hotline we could call that ????
To keep everybody positive and understanding that it was not the end for us. We would make it out of this.
To keep serving our students. Making sure that everyone was covered in any needs of theirs. Whether it be their financial, or mental support or any help of any sort.
We kept a positive approach. A Jiu-Jitsu fighter that doesn’t have a positive and enthusiastic approach to life doesn’t go anywhere. So that is what we kept. We helped many people during the months of the shutdown. We had a stay in the shelter order in our state where we could only leave the house for the essentials or emergencies. But that didn’t slow us down.
Now we are open again with several restrictions, but we can teach in-person classes. We are really happy with the lives that we reached out to and all of the people that we helped.
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia

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