My Fear is My Only Courage

My Fear is My Only Courage

by Freddy Chavez


My fear is my only courage, those were the words sang by Bob Marley (No Woman No Cry). When I first heard that lyric I didn’t understand what that meant. How can you use fear as courage? That was answered the day I walked through the doors at 10th Planet Van Nuys a little over a year ago. I’ve always had a love for combat sports, but never participated, even in my youth while the kids in my neighborhood would go to karate or tae kwon do class I was on my way to play pop warner. Even though I played football, I would never miss a big fight like Chavez vs Taylor, Chavez vs Camacho, Tyson vs Holyfield, etc, etc. I give my dad the credit for showing me and educating me on combat sports. My dad boxed here and there but never really followed through being that he had me and my mom to take care of lol. My dad would always ask me if I wanted to join a boxing gym or karate gym and even though my heart would say yes, my mind would say no. My dad asked me one time when I was a sophomore in high school how I could play American football but I couldn’t put on a pair of boxing gloves and spar with my cousins lol. I told him flat out I was scared. I told my dad playing football (offensive & defensive line) no one really paid attention if we messed up or got hit hard so it was easier for me. However, one on one combat sports thats a whole different animal, everyone is watching you, and you have no one else to rely upon other than yourself.

My first night at 10th Planet Van Nuys was awesome, I was scared beyond all belief lol. I’ve always wanted to join a jiujitsu gym but never really followed through. I knew one day the day would come. The more and more I read and did my research, the more and more I felt the need to train jiujitsu. Sure like everyone else, I knew of the big names in jiujitsu and the family that started it all, but I still had my doubts about the “jiujitsu” life style. It wasn’t until after my first free class I was hooked. I knew it was now or never for me & I had to sign up. Two months in I decided to give myself to the art of jiujitsu, that was the only way I would truly benefit from this beautiful art. I gave my self to this art so much that I tattooed our 10th Planet Van Nuys logo on my leg. I did this as a way to show my dedication and love not only to the art but to my new found family at 10th Planet Van Nuys. This art is truly something special, it’s a life force that gives to you, that speaks to you, that is you. I can’t speak enough on the brotherhood this wonderful art provides, we truly are a community regardless of where you train if you prefer gi or no gi, if you speak jiujitsu, you’re family.

My experience in jiujitsu has been nothing short of amazing. I started to understand what Bob was saying when he sang “my fear is my only courage”. No matter how scared I was or am, it is my only courage and jiujitsu allows me to transform my fears into courage. The people that were once my training partners are now my brothers & sisters, they are my family. My professor is only but a few people I consider a mentor without him there is no Freddy Wap in jiujitsu. I would never trade my experiences in jiujitsu for anything in the world. They are who I am and what will shape me into the person I one day hope to be. I may not attend traditional university but believe me when I tell you the university I go to provides me with the opportunity to become a more improved and better version of myself. Thank you jiujitsu for all that you are and all that you will become, you truly are something special.




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