Meaning Discovered Through Rolling

As it turns out, rolling around in various sexual positions with a bunch of other space-primates decked out in spandex highlights the essence of the transformative spirit. I have not been able to miss the undeniable “creature of meaning” peeking its head, over the last six months of training jiu-jitsu.


Care has been esoterically referred to as the core generative principle. It seems tough to argue with its necessary presence in the creation of “quality.” I have often referred to “quality” as crystallized care. I’ve noticed many higher-order principles on the jiu-jitsu mats, and care has continually popped up in various forms.

You roll around the ground attempting to choke the shit out of your opponent. This is the goal. If at any time during this process, an elbow, hand, wrist, or other limb slips and unintentionally strikes an opponent, an immediate and sincere apology almost always follows and lands before the shock of the strike even registers. If it goes a different direction and your ass is choked out, something of the utmost value becomes discernible. If you pay attention to your opponent immediately after you tap out, the look of care and concern is unmistakable. I specifically have noticed this with my coach. There is an archetypal concern for my well-being that is boldly stamped on his expression after I tap out, and this has nothing to do with me. I know this care is intrinsically embodied within the coach, and the same concern would be present and available for anyone on the wrong side of his “sweet triangle.”

What is also telling is that I don’t think it would be possible to fake this kind of care/concern. Someone would have to be a black belt rolling Marlon Brando to pull that off. I’m not trying to knock my coach’s acting chops or over-inflate my ability to discern real-time care, accurately. I merely seek to emphasize the readily absorbable and transparent reality between souls, when one of them is about to blackout and taps out.


This happens as both willfully submit to the fire of truth while their techniques are pressed to the mat in the mutually beneficial sacrificial offering of self-improvement. There is a living transcendent spirit that survives cyclical iterations of the transformative process. All conscientious rollers experience this. All seem to know on some level: that which survives the infinite cycle of death and rebirth is the suchness that animates growth and orients one usefully within the natural order of being. This might be thought of as a force of good and is brilliantly showcased through jiu-jitsu. It is not a bad deal to be introduced to and regularly reminded of this timeless essence of potential good that resides within every one of our souls, considering that the line of order and chaos runs down the center of every human heart.

Not the Ego

This essence doesn’t have much to do with the individuated personality—the ego. I’ve found that to embody the higher-order animating spirit with greater degrees of competency and reliability means to step outside the animal ego and recognize the local self as a part of the time-transcendent organism, which is the intelligent process. You are a reflection of the coherent structure of profitable evolutionary development that is life. You are the cutting edge of a 13.8-billion year process. Yet for some reason, we forget and can become overly concerned that we are somehow inadequate, incomplete or incapable of health, wealth, abundance, and sustainable fulfillment. This is the ego’s narrow influence and not an accurate representation of the Self.

What You Be Training!?

Losing sight of the comprehensive picture could be thought of as the diminishing or breaking of spirit. I have found that my connection to this force of intelligent transmutation breaks often while rolling, usually right before my hand slaps the mat. So, what are you truly training via a discipline such as jiu-jitsu? The ability to roll around, flexibility, angles of leverage, application of technique, strategy, or your connection to the immutable spirit of transformative growth, which I would term “love” itself?

Is jiu-jitsu training the localized and limited space-primate mind to connect with source structure? If so, the choice to train can be reduced to the eternal choice that all sentient awareness is continually presented with—love or fear. A good gym could be thought of as a vortex of love which pulls in those willing to submit to the coherent principles of the natural process, through psychological death and rebirth.

What You Be Hearing!?

It is interesting to note as a wandering bystander that overheard phrases and conversations are extensions of the essence that a specific environment generates. You will hear much victim-role whining and general complaining at bars. At a jiu-jitsu competition, you tend to hear examples of people putting their perspectives to truth’s inferno and allowing falsehood to burn off, through the phoenix transformation. This is what happens when you submit your perspective to the ultimate test—reality.

I literally overheard, “I was too confident” from a random participant at a recent jiu-jitsu tournament. Such a phrase exemplifies stepping outside of the local perspective in honor of the transformative process, and productive self-criticism is the local manifestation of growth-centric being. Drunks complaining at bars represent the limitation and folly of the defensive ego-structure, which fights to preserve itself regardless of its flaws and misunderstandings, regardless of truth. Beer-bro bar ego chilling seems like choosing fear to me, but what do I know?

Love or Fear?

I’m just a bumbling space-primate, no different than any, attempting to find, share, and spread value, meaning, fulfillment, and productive pathways of growth wherever available. I’d like to think that I’ve made the fundamentally required choice to be a force of good in the eternally raging war of being. This would be consciously choosing love over fear, but we are constantly tested and are never too far away from getting smashed. That’s when you’re really tested and provided with life’s most fundamental option—learn, grow, improve, with love versus lie, protect flawed value hierarchies, and interpret self as separate from the totality of the intelligent process in fear. Love versus fear, what will you choose, and how will you train yourself to consistently make the “correct” decision while the unbearable pressures of existence smash you? Rolling around with a bunch of thoughtful and caring space-primates, who have made that same choice, seems to be a pretty good strategy to me.

The Unknown

Those conscientious rollers often remind one of what is important, and this was certainly the case for me recently. I went to a jiu-jitsu tournament to watch a couple of my classmates compete. It was unimaginably tense to watch them roll. I was shocked at how vicariously stressed I was. Obviously, the source of this tension was because they were submitting themselves to the unknown, and I know what that feels like. I wanted them to emerge injury-free and with the victory. However, the unknown is the unknown and always generates basic animal fear for any and all about to take the heroic step into its territory.

“Game On”

I found a true inspirational gem in one of my buddy’s matches. They were down to the last minute of a 10-minute round with submission-only rules. My buddy’s “game on” switch was activated. He summoned his opponent verbally and physically. My friend recognized that he was there to compete and either get a submission or be submitted. He didn’t seem to care which would be the outcome but was more than ready to find out.

He took his opponent down from his seated jiu-jitsu position and locked him up in a quality armbar in the blink of an eye. He then had about 40 seconds to get the submission. He submitted his opponent in only a second or two after the takedown. This was an extremely inspiring and entertaining spectacle—to see my buddy pressing himself to the fire with urgency and watch his spirit emerge as he “gamed-on” his highest and best technique.

A True Lesson

I watched this portion of the video multiple times and sent it to my father. It was impressive and undeniably inspiring. Who wouldn’t want to hit their “game on” life-switch, in the way that my buddy did in his match? Perhaps, the unambiguous choice to press that fucking button for the good of growth is a heroic act of love, which dispenses with the fearful ego’s bullshit. Maybe, this higher-order process is what calls and responds in the eternal mythological Call to Adventure, summoning the heroic Return Home with the Freedom to Live in truth as intelligent love. As we are all the fool evolving to the hero of our own personal sagas, it makes perfect sense to learn from our fellow heroes smashing out submissions. Let us all take our calls and do some life smashing!

5 thoughts on “Meaning Discovered Through Rolling”

  1. What great lessons and insight. I could feel that same emotion at the tournament, anxiety followed by relief and joy. Game on!

  2. I enjoyed reading your reflections! Thanks for putting to words some of the same thoughts I have about playing this game. I see jits as a microcosm of life lessons all ‘rolled up’ into one game. (Get it?)

  3. Glad you are enjoying the jiu jits
    on so many levels!
    It seems like life delivers this nutrition in many forms. People seem to really fall hard for this one!

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