I haven’t posted anything in a while on this blog. Mostly because I have been busy teaching every day, and today is no exception. I just finished a lesson with a 61-year-old Marine veteran. And I am truly humbled. Again!

The most exhausting thing about teaching and training to the degree I do isn’t the physical expenditure or even the mental – these are both extreme at times, but I can handle each much more than the emotional toll it takes on me. I try to give all I have emotionally to my students, and in the process I take on a lot of what they bring in with them emotionally, which is oftentimes a lot of negativity or pain in one form or another. To call it an honor to meet and train with and teach the people I get to is a gross understatement.

Whether it is my student with epilepsy who struggles daily in a battle with her own bodily control, or the autistic children who a few months ago could barely follow a 3-step verbal set of instructions, or the gentleman I just mentioned from this morning, I am humbled and privileged to see what real strength and fortitude is, when there are so many others in the world that fall victim to self-pity, whereas these folks who overcome so much. This veteran, who is twice my age with more holes in him from bullets than I care to mention, including in his head, arms, legs, abdomen, and all points in between, showed me the utmost respect upon meeting me. At his age and in his condition, to walk in the door and sign up is amazing to me! And it motivates me to be the best version of myself and to polish my understanding of the art so as to give him the best representation of what has affected my life so greatly. There is no doubt that what we do at Three Rivers Martial Arts is extraordinary and life-altering, but if ever there were question to it, it would quickly be extinguished by the evidence of our students’ accomplishments.

These are not things that they hand out trophies or medals for (though plenty of our students have those too), and these accomplishments are not things that are widely publicized (though Three Rivers has made quite a name for itself). Rather, the quiet achievements of the unsung champions of our academy scream a brilliant emotionally-charged primal scream that resonates through the universe and advances a shift in consciousness that is inextinguishable and unstoppable.

So today, like most days, I am humbled. I bow in completed deference to the wave I am riding, and I am proud and elated to even be associated with what is going on here! I will do my best today and pray it is received by as many as possible.


  1. Jason says:

    that’s beautiful and well said Eli

  2. Pat says:

    Well said. Teaching can take a lot of thought. Many people think that it is easy to put yourself out there. It takes concern and mental skill to do what you do.

  3. Russell says:

    Your words set an example of humility and grace for all teachers to follow. Thank you.

  4. Russell says:

    Great writing. Let’s people have insight into the challenges and honors of being a Jiu Jitsu instructor. Keep up the good work, sir.

  5. Mitch says:

    We need more teachers with this passion…….

  6. Nice one. I really like your way of writing and how beautifully you express your thoughts. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the latest stuff you post. Thanks for sharing.

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