If you’ve ever seen a fist throwing, tooth jarring, blood splattered UFC fight, nobody would blame you for thinking that being yogic has nothing to do with grappling. After all, the first principle rule of yoga is Ahimsa, or to do no harm. Which may be hard to see in the flurry of fists and kicks. I’m here to say that if you think fighting can’t be yogic, you are WRONG.
One of the major components of the sport we know as mixed martial arts (MMA) is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ). Jiu-jitsu is approximately 1/3 of competitive MMA. But what most people don’t know is that
BJJ by itself is not about causing harm.
But instead focuses on how to defend one’s self against harm (arm bars for assailants).
For example, if someone were to pull a gun, in BJJ there is a defense and a protocol to disarm the enemy to ensure no further threat. Stop “them” before they kill or injure you. If that means you choke them until they are unconscious, well then, too bad evil doer.
NOT stopping a person from hurting you, would be willingly allowing harm to come to you, in that case it would be considered self harm and violate the yogic ideal of non-harming. My favorite example of this would be a story of the holy man and the snake.
So let this be a warning to all those nasty people out there. If you plan on hurting me, now as a BJJ practitioner, I can say that I’ll be ready (as long as you don’t do anything I haven’t drilled yet).
Bottom Line: Do no harm, but take no shit.