More Than Jiu-Jitsu.
I'm Yuki Ishikawa, the Head Instructor for Carpe Diem Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I first started practicing BJJ in America in 1998. I was 22 years old and it was a hell of a shock for me. I thought to myself, "This is awesome! I definitely want to do this!" and so I trained for hours everyday.
When I came back to Japan, my head was stuffed full of Jiu-jutsu. I didn't get a job in a company. So while I worked as a waiter and stuff I trained everyday. When I look back on it now I realize that my twenties really were a great time for me. I made a lot of great friends in those days.
When I hit my thirties, even though it was small, I was able to open my own Dojo. I hadn't won any big international competitions and I wasn't a famous or accomplished competitor, but somehow for whatever reason I had a lot of students enroll at the Dojo.
For 6 years, I was the head Instructor at the Aoyama Branch of the Tri-Force Acadamy of BJJ, under Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa. It was a big difference from my fun filled days of training and competing in my twenties but I had a lot of students and being able to help young aspiring competitors to develop was like a second heyday for me.
I got married and my daughter was born. I couldn't train, teach or do a lot of things as much as I had before. But I am thankful that I had some talented instructors who were able to support me. I also learned a lot from our students. In BJJ I'm a teacher but aside from that I can't do much else. Because a lot of my students were specialists in their individual fields I have been able to learn a lot from them.
One day during the summer of 2013, I was sitting alone in the Dojo, and I started thinking about my life. I was at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here, when the phrase "CARPE DIEM" popped into my mind. This is something that I've often thought of when feeling down, ever since I was young. In Latin it means "Seize the Day!". I thought to myself, "I've got to stop worrying about that stuff and just try and be happy."
I wondered if I could move from a large organization to a smaller more flexible one. And by doing so I thought I could make a Dojo that was more of a projection of my way of life. I didn't really have any doubts about the name though. "CARPE DIEM BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU". From here on out it's all about trying to be happy.
We live in a world that doesn't have any absolute values. What is right? What is wrong? This is a world where something becomes popular and then a short time later it has no value. But the techniques that we learn in Jiu-jitsu never lose their luster and I believe that they will always have value. I too am on the endless journey that is the BJJ way. So I really want to see a lot of others also enjoy the same journey.
Perhaps I'm exaggerating a little. But basically we are a place where you can train BJJ. Sweating on the mats with your friends, learning the techniques. That's basically it.
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