Balance for Grapplers & Humans: The Relationships Between Physical & Emotional Balance

Everyone strikes some kind of balance in their lives. Our pursuits at physical balance can enlighten our metaphysical ones. Do you feel your life is lacking in balance?

One of many concepts that has a specific meaning in grappling but a complementary and related meaning in life is balance. We need to be able to balance in order to grapple effectively. If we have balance, we are poised to execute effective moves and impose our game on others. Of course, we won’t always be successful even if we do have it, but if we don’t have it, our chances of success drop down to near zero.

Further, we need to understand more and less effective ways to achieve balance; we need a metacognitive grasp of the concept so we can be focused in our attempts to gain and maintain it. If we lose our balance, our first goal must be to restore it, whether we are in a top or bottom position while grappling. And the difference between maintaining balance and being upended can be a very small movement or dedication of weight in one direction or another, because there are always forces (our opponent’s goals, skill, and strategy; gravity; our own mistakes) that conspire against us.

Sound like anything you deal with in your life, even if you don’t train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Do you feel less effective in your life when it is out of balance, whatever that means for you? I’ve been thinking about the concept of balance in my own life lately, because I don’t know if I have it. For coming up on six years now, I have focused my life around training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, fitting in around it priorities like making a living and having a social life. This gives me a sort of balance, though more recently my sense of what constitutes balance seems to be shifting.

I suspect people crave balance in their lives, maybe more than power or money. And there are many things we look to balance:

  • Just enough work to feel fulfilled and productive, but not stressed and put-upon.
  • Just enough family time to feel connected and loved, but not exasperated.
  • Just enough downtime to feel rejuvenated, but not depressed or directionless.
  • Just enough excitement to feel alive and energized, but not overwhelmed.

My question for you today is, do you feel balanced? Do you look at that list and see something weighed-down for you? Do you feel centered and content? And if you don’t feel balanced, what then?

Are there systematic ways to pursue balance in our lives, in the same way we can as grapplers? Check back on Sunday for my ideas on how to achieve balance and how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can enlighten this pursuit.