Students discussing and training at Dark Clan Fight Lab's Brew Jitsu. Austin, TX.
One thing I love about jiu jitsu is how much fun you can have while getting your ass kicked. Exercise alone creates a vast array of feel good brain chemicals and when you add in genuine joy, the good endorphins just keep rolling (pun intended). The fighters at Dark Clan Fight Lab in Austin, TX recently hosted a city-wide open mat event with an added element--brewskis! Drink a beer, get after it, repeat until you can't. This was my first event here at Dark Clan where everyone had a lot more time to relax and converse in between rounds. The afternoon was filled with excessive laughs, great rolls, and the seemingly endless Texas heat (which didn't seem to slow anyone down). Training out here in Texas during the summer is no joke. There are no comforts of recirculated air or cooling machines--just a few twirling fans and a lot of dedication.
And sweat. Lots of sweat.
Making photos in this relaxed atmosphere certainly brought me a new element to photographing jiu jitsu. Where I am normally hunting down action or looking to capture a tap, this day was a mixture of catching fights and also snapping the fun moments in between. Watching all of the smiles on people's faces throughout the afternoon reminded me that I am definitely in the right place. You can grind your body and soul down to a nub in anything you pursue, just make sure you're having fun in the process.
As I grow in this life I am further embracing the importance of community, in whatever form suits you best. For myself, I am finding tribe in jiu jitsu. Welcoming and humbling, I am enjoying my time on the mats, with or without my camera, and appreciating the connections being made furthering the growth of my inner being.
Spirit is a muscle. Word to Watch x Witness.