techNACITY as a quality has always existed. This is my story:

I discovered techNACITY nearly ten years ago in the Eastern Canada Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament scene. At that time, if you had a blue belt you were a big deal. Youtube was new and VHS instructionals were still passed around. Lineage meant everything and my instructor had learned directly from Carlos Gracie Junior and Marcio Fetoisa. I joined his school and tried never to miss a class. As my knowledge increased so did my confidence. I was certain that technique was enough and in the beginning it was. I took Gold in my first tournament as a white belt (Jacob MacKenzie was there to help). I continued competing locally and experienced some success.

I am not certain when 'it' first happened. But it did. During a very difficult match I had a sudden urge to quit. I was being dominated and I knew all I had to do was surrender and it would end. So I did. Let me be clear. Had I not have surrendered I may still have lost. But losing as a quitter is haunting. I set out to ensure I never quit again. More technique I supposed. But that was only half of it.

I remember the exact time and place I became aware of the relevance of tenacity. I was in a particularly slow match. I had pulled guard and my opponent – was struggling to pass. I was struggling to sweep or submit. I began to tire when the thought appeared: "What's the point?" Just quit. Even if you win, you'll just have to fight again and again before the finals." This wasn't the first time I had been faced with adversity and given up. Yet this was the first time I was aware of my thoughts in the moment. I took control of my cognitions. A profound determination – a defiance of will – set in as I executed an effective sweep to win. I continued to exist!

This experience stirred up a grand controversy in my mind. How relevant was skill without the WILL to execute it? My teammates and I would use labels like "tenacious" and "technical" as we evaluated opponents. Some were tenacious often winning on gameness more than technique. Some lacked heart yet their technical craftsmanship made them dangerous always. A few of them matched tenacity with technique. They almost always won. They were always respected. I came to learn that tenacity without technique was reckless. Similarly, I learned that technique without tenacity was harmless. I understood techNACITY.

techNACITY is a relative term. It is not exclusive to an elite group of athletes though the elite always demonstrate techNACITY. Each of us is faced with personal plights where we may chose to persevere in performance. We may lose at times but we must never quit. If we do quit, we must resume and resign to never quit again. We must fight the good fight.

What's your story?