Quick one for you today!
The word “passion” has taken on a lot of romantic, intimate, and otherwise lovey-dovey connotations. But originally, passion comes from the Latin root of pati and means, literally, suffering.
When we are passionate about something, we suffer for it (and anyone who’s been training Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu will tell you that the suffering is often very, very real ).
So what is compassion, then? Well.. it’s the understanding and acceptance of another’s suffering. And having compassion for a teammate means we extend them a little grace when they slip up under pressure — because we would ask the for the same on behalf of ourselves.
Compassion is a necessary quality for safe, productive training. If we do not form a bond over the inevitable difficulty and discomfort of the training, then we might instead regress into a state of self-preservation, dominance, or adversarial competitiveness.
So the next time you are on the mats and your teammate is a little too rough, a little too awkward, or just starts to get on your nerves (and, trust me, this is inevitable!) — extend some grace and some compassion and see where that takes you. I think you’ll discover some new places in training that you may not have expected.