After Professor Eliot Marshal guest instructed at Arvada, he asked our students if they had any questions about anything at all. One man raised his hand and asked about how Professor Eliot deals with anxiety. The whole room connected, sharing stories and methods of how to deal with anxiety, making the man feel like he wasn’t alone. In martial arts, there are a lot of emotions, some of which are not shared. It takes a leader to share deep emotions, insecurities, anxieties, and other things that are not commonly talked about. It takes a leader to cry when they feel like crying, even if it’s in front of a whole room of people. This man who asked the question about anxiety, and shared his emotions with us is a leader. This leader is Bob Yeager, a purple belt at our academy. Bob was not afraid to share his emotions with his classmates, and as a result, the whole community became closer. People were offering advice, and support to Bob. Professor Eliot even took down his name and number. Everyone admires Bob for his courage and ability to share his emotions. For these reasons, Bob Yeager is June’s Member of the Month.
Bob started training in May of 2013 because he has always been interested in martial arts, and has always been competitive. Since starting martial arts, Bob’s life has significantly improved. He doesn’t feel nervous when he walks down the street anymore because now he knows how to defend himself. Additionally, it has helped him learn how to “enjoy the suffering.” He states, “The phrase, ‘What stands in the way becomes the way’ is often in my head and makes me think about my daily challenges differently. I now look for why I am struggling with something and what the lesson is so I can learn from the situation.” This quote from Bob is applicable to life on and off the mats. Life is all about perspective. If we view our problems as challenges, something we can overcome, instead of something hindering our lives, they become easier to deal with. For example, in Jiu Jitsu if you can never seem to get out of side control, don’t get frustrated and give up, search for solutions on how to escape properly. I think we can all learn something from Bob: enjoy the suffering, grow from it, and move on. “What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Next, Bob speaks about the Easton community and how it has impacted him. He states, “It is a place where you can go and feel like you are a part of something greater than just yourself. I am helping others to learn and grow everyday I go and everyone is doing the same thing for me. It feels good to belong to something bigger and know that you are growing. That’s what Easton is to me.” Here, Bob touches on the aspect of self growth that Easton has given him. Not only is he improving his Jiu Jitsu, he’s also improving his life and the lives of others. There’s a reason why we pair the most advanced student with the least advanced student. Everyone can learn something from someone, no matter what belt rank you are.
Bob’s favorite part about Easton is our Saturday morning randori. On Sundays he looks forward to getting back on the mat to test everything he works on with Coach Jason Kramer. He says, “I look forward to the next problem to solve and bring that back so I can learn something new.”
Advice to new students:
He gives advice to new students and says, “If you stick with Jiu Jitsu it will give you more than you can imagine. It will teach you to be humble and it will teach you persistence. You will also gain unexpected friends along the way.”
We are so happy to have Bob at Easton, and for his openness and ability to share his story so that others can also be impacted by his leadership.