The Mental Arts

Thanks for visiting my page! If you’re here, you’re probably someone who is interested in the intersection between life and martial arts.

HI HI HI. (photo credit: Hanad Ali)

I want to take a few moments to introduce myself. My name is Tracy. I currently train in DC. My favorite activities outside of jiu jitsu include coloring, board games, cooking, and sticker collecting. I’m an ailurophile (a cat lover).

I know that there’s a lot of people on the Internet trying to express their beliefs, ideas, and opinions. You may not be sure if they’re trustworthy, or they know what they’re talking about. I get it. That’s why I put together four guiding principles for The Mental Arts, for you to decide for yourself if you’re aligned:

Ask the Right Questions

Sometimes, it’s not about having the right answers to everything, but rather exploring what is unknown to learn more about ourselves. The Mental Arts is about introspection and reflection — of both your own experience and the experiences of others. Questions can help clarify your thinking, help you drill down on a difficult issue, or simply generate new ideas. It can be a powerful means of influence, if used correctly and ethically. Those who like The Mental Arts are comfortable with knowing that they can’t figure everything out right away.

It’s Not About Me - It’s About Us

It is my sincerest hope to be relatable to you. Even though we might not know each other, we probably have had a lot of the same feelings when it comes to training. Through storytelling, I hope to help build a bridge between our two experiences. In doing so, I know that I will have much to learn from the foundation from which you come, and that I may be able to augment your perspective as well. Co-creation, beyond collaboration, is about creating something that neither one of us can do on our own by intermingling our talents, beliefs, and thoughts.

Respect Everyone’s Journey

This one is pretty simple. It’s okay to have disagreements with someone, as long as you respect the differences in their experience and that they might think and feel differently from you. Respect means taking the time to listen and be open to new ideas. I have not done this perfectly, so I don’t expect you to do that either. Listen and read with curiosity — I promise it will pay off!

Seek the Truth of Your Experience

Throughout the years, as I talk to people one-to-one or in large groups, the audience has always thanked me for my honesty and transparency. Being authentic is one of my greatest strengths, but it is also the most difficult to explain how to do for someone else. All I ask you to do is to take whatever ideas that you find here and hold them up against the light of your experience. Don’t be afraid to look into the shadows, either, and to confront any feelings of anger, shame, and regret. On the other side of that experience are feelings of forgiveness, acceptance, and resilience.

That’s it for now. I hope that before you change tabs or click away, that you take the time to subscribe below. Good training!

let’s learn together! (photo credit: Hanad Ali)

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beyond the belt


I write and think about jiu jitsu. A lot.