A shared vision held by a global community of people. United and driven by the same goals. We flock to the same destinations around the world at the same dates in the annual calendar. United by the same passion for the art to pursue a particular type of lifestyle that reflects extensively in our daily lives.
Struggle and sacrifice are some of our closest comrades. Sometimes we face even alienation from those who we called our loved ones on our paths to what we call perceived greatness. Many of us move across the world to pursue united training environments where every individual in the room chases that moment of euphoria of getting their hand raised up. 
Breathe in, breathe out. 
The air is scarce in the room, but all that matters right now is this present moment. 
Breathe in, breathe out. 
Our minds are not focused on the air itself getting into our lungs - our concern is concentrated into the game.  Make it through, don’t give up the sweep, the time is almost over…
3, 2, 1 . . . PAROU!
The one word that has so many different outcomes. A word containing euphoria, devastation and a momentary state of uncertainty all in this single five lettered word.
We live and breathe jiu-jitsu; for many of us, it is our identity. The fixation to become better; the best; number one…
We fill up grand arenas with our big and bright dreams that we relentlessly pay dues for day in and day out every day in the year. In these same arenas, frustration and heartache is felt by many; when the stark reality fades in that only one can hold the title of world champion. With only one shot at the title every year; 1 day that will hold us accountable for the other 364 days of the year that we expended our energy, sweat, money, injuries, the bliss, the pain, the joy and for what you may say?
When you are excessively passionate about something, you will go to any extremity beyond reason to keep the dream alive. Gazing deeply into the eyes of adversity time and time again before reaching our personal constructs of success. Overcoming all types of barriers, both physical and mental, creeping incrementally closer to mastering ourselves with each passing day.
Knowledge of self. Master of self. 
What exactly does this mean in our own little utopia in the kingdom of jiu-jitsu?
Understanding ourselves first can lead to great insights of our other fellow people. From the mind, our anatomy, the way we carry ourselves, our instincts; we are our greatest reference points. We strive to improve ourselves on the mats daily and hope to carry over the lessons from the discipline instilled in us from the art. Let it lead us along the path of living our best possible lives being good stewards of this planet; this place we call our abode - our home. 
We can only wish to one better than we were yesterday and yesteryear. 
Year in and year out, we are fighting for our dreams, but day in and day out, we are loving the life and the process we live.
This is our art of jiu-jitsu.
United by heart.
Margot Ciccarelli