Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Role Models

As a little kid growing up in a small rural town, I had heaps of heroes. Mr T, Monkey on Monkey Magic, Wally Lewis, Jeff Fenech. But these characters didn't make me who I am today. The fault of my ruptured personality lies with my childhood role models. My Family, my friends, my school teachers and my coaches. Weather I liked it or even if these people weren't aware of it, they were my role models.
Now that I'm a grown man I still think it's healthy to have hero's and role models. My modern day heroes are people like Ali, BJ Penn, Wayne Bennett, Shane Webke, Rickson Gracie, Saulo Ribero and the list goes on.
I'm always conscious of trying to improve myself as a person. I try to look at what the people I respect and admire do to achieve there goals. I try to read biographies on these people and pick up as many tips as I can. But it is the people that I have physical access to that can really help me improve myself.

Now at the risk of sounding like a complete suck up, brown nose I don't think getting to roll with Rickson Gracie would have as great an effect on me as training with my coach Ryan Dunstan over the last few years. Now no offense to Ryan but Rickson is clearly the greatest BJJ practitioner to ever wear a Gi but i don't know Rickson and he doesn't know me. So as much Rickson is a hero of mine he can never be a role model to me. But I have seen Ryan in many situations in the years that I've known him, under extreme pressure competing, training, coaching, reacting to big wins and loses, partying and just hanging out and the way he carries him self in all these situations is what a role model should look like. Now I'm not saying he is a saint or anything like that, he has faults like all of us but that is just how a role model should be, real and accessible. I'm extremely lucky to have found the right gym and coach for me. I clicked there straight away and I've made some solid connections with some excellent like minded individuals. The quality of the instruction and the leadership from Coach Dunstan is in my eyes nothing short of world class and to not absorb that and try to put some of that positive energy back out into the world would be selfish of me. 
Cage door duties is a real privilege.
Especially when two true martial artists are in the cage together.
As a father, an uncle, friend, training partner, and sometime coach. I am fully aware that I myself have become a role model. I think about this a lot. I really want to conduct my self more as a martial artist and have positive affects on the people I come in contact with.
If I wasn't doing BJJ and had not met my coach and team mates I think everyone I come in contact with would not get the best of me. I owe alot to Jiu-Jitsu.
I'm very apprecitative of the art and the men and women I train with and especially my coach.

C u on the mat,

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