A lesson learned from Andre

A-lesson-learned-from-Andre3Not long ago I had the great pleasure of hosting Andre Galvao during his stay in my adopted home state of Queensland, Australia. I experienced the company of a man who had a subtle level of higher than average intelligence. I realise this description to some may sound as if I was surprised that a fighter could be intelligent, far from it. I know plenty of martial artists who have proven to be quite intellectually gifted when compared to others people I have interacted with in this society. The situations they constantly find themselves in challenges their ability to think laterally, outside of the box, and produces effective and efficient problem solving skills. This coupled with an inquisitive mind frame no doubt serves as a vessel to greatness. For those to question their surroundings, society and situations will lead them to greater understandings and knowledge of a particular subject, which may inturn aid in the questioning and study of another subject or situation. Training the mind to explore and find answers.

In the many conversations I had with Andre he would display this trait consciously and subconsciously. One such occasion happened at the front of my house as we walked towards my car.

“Cristiano, why do you not park your car directly in front of your house?” Asked Andre.

“Because of the yellow line painted on the curb, it means that no one is allowed to park there.” I replied

“Why did they paint that there in front of your house?”

“I don’t know?”

“What do you mean you don’t know? Why don’t you know man? This is your house, come on man.”

A lesson learned from AndreI was left in my tracks pondering the reason for the yellow line in front of my house. I did not know which was more puzzling; the reason for the line or the reason I did not know why and had never attempted to find out why in the sixteen years I had lived there.
This may not have remained in Andre’s thoughts for much longer but it certainly did in mine. Why did I not know the answer? Why did I never want to find out? This was my house and my street. This is something I should know.

This was not an isolated incident. Many times during his stay Andre posed this scenario to me regarding different subjects and situations. This made me wonder if this curious mind, hungry for knowledge of motives and actions, had played a hand in his success on and off the tatami. I could only think of a younger Andre training hard as a white belt in Brazil. Being bested and tapped by his peers within the gym. I could picture him at night pondering the reasons for being submitted by a blue belt with a kimura from side control. I can see him replaying that moment over and over again in his mind. The submission, the position, the control, the transition from position and the specific opponent. I can see Andre finding where he went wrong and where the other guy went right. He would ask himself questions and study the situation and make sure this submission did not happen again.

To some of you this may seem as an obvious correlation between events; thought process and subsequent actions. But to me, sometimes it takes certain incidences to spark thought and enlightenment. This lesson I learned from Andre will now influence the way I look at the mat, how I look at a position and also how I now look at life.

Thanks Andre


Article by: Cristiano Del Giacco

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