It has been said that “a good life is a collection of happy moments.”
Whether that is true or not might be a matter of personal preference or opinion, but it is undeniable that as we go about our lives, we do collect an infinite amount of memorable moments. Some better than others, but in the end, they make us who we are. Cyborg's got it right when he says that he's proud of all the tough moments and he doesn't call them "hardships", but "adventures"
There's also the other side of the coin: All of the mountain top moments that we inevitably will experience as well. Obviously, Cyborg's mountain top moments will look very different from the average 40-year-old BJJ practitioner. Nevertheless, the regular practitioner's, seemingly less extravagant experiences may very well have the same or even greater personal impact on him than Cyborg's ADCC title had on Cyborg.
We all have that individual collection of moments, but we also experience great moments as a community. Many events surpass the merely personal level and they go on to impact or even change the community and the world.
Jiu Jitsu is no different. As a community, we're also collecting memorable moments that shape the community all the time.
There was a time when adversaries couldn't or wouldn't be friends and, God forbid, they would ever train together. Enter Buchecha, Rodolfo, and Lo. Before these guys, there seems to have been very few rivals that were friends and even fewer that would ever train together. When you least expect, Buchecha, while defending a different flag opens up to an injured Leandro Lo, who then becomes the 2018 Absolute champion of the World. Undoubtedly one of the greatest moments in the history of the sport.
Who can forget Anderson Silva's first encounter with Chael Sonnen when, after losing badly for 4 1/2 rounds, showed us the true meaning of the popular saying: "Only Jiu Jitsu saves"? And speaking of Jiu Jitsu miracles, we cannot forget Minotauro x Bob Sapp, (who weighed 350lbs with abs!) in 2002. The fight was similar to the aforementioned Silva fight, except we all thought Minotauro would certainly die until he caught the giant on an armbar. Again, Jiu Jitsu saves the day.
We could talk about Kron Gracie winning by submission all of his fights from Blue to the end of his brown belt and then being stopped by Serginho Moraes as a debuting Black Belt, or Xande Ribeiro double golding twice in the IBJJF Worlds. There's also the day in 1999 when Comprido caught Roleta in the Absolute finals of the World's with a foot lock, which was a fiercely frowned upon move in Brazil at the time; and my personal favorite, Alan Finfou giving back to his professor Terere the black belt he had bought from him years before. Terere had derailed from the BJJ path at the time and used the 5 bucks he made off of his belt to feed his habit. Finfou promised himself he would one day, return the belt to his professor and former mentor. He thought it would only happen at Terere's seemingly imminent funeral, but Jiu Jitsu had different plans. Terere got his act together, his life turned around, and registered to compete in the 2013 Europeans. Finfou was on the other side of the brackets and they both won and met in the finals. Finfou walked onto the mats and shocked the world when, instead of fighting, pulled out his professor's belt and handed it back to him, giving the BJJ community all around the world one more of the greatest moments in Jiu Jitsu history.
In the end, life may or may not be a collection of moments, but we can't deny that we not only live them daily but we learn from them daily on the mats.
In your opinion, what are some of the great moments in BJJ history? What are some lessons we can learn from them? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.