… Off the mat

I have spent countless hours training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, since my first class in 1994, but started years earlier in Shotokan Karate.  Both arts could not be much more different – that is except for one thing:  the many hours of discussion after a class, and during the week, and before the next class.  The talks brought life changing insights and revelations from the training, that training alone could not.

I have been very fortunate to be involved with not only two great styles of martial arts, taught by incredible instructors, but I have been more fortunate to be surrounded by training partners that had the same vision as I did, as to what the martial arts where supposed to be about (and that wasn’t just fighing).  Some of these people had much more experience than I did, on the mats, and some had much less – but that did not matter.  What we all shared in equally was life experience and how those experiences could be both played out on the mats, and how they could be affected by our time on the mats.  But on the mats, funnily enough, is not where the lessons are really learned.  It is through the conversation among training partners and deep thought about the events on the mats, that we begin to discover ourselves… if we have the nerve to look.

This blog will hopefully be a place off the mat, to help us look at and examine ourselves.

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Thank you for reading,

Michael Casey

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Master Relson Gracie



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“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On,” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

                               ~Calvin Coolidge