It is challenging to train Jiu Jitsu. Those of us who have trained Jiu Jitsu for any amount of time know that training gives us a beating both physically and emotionally. It is important to understand, especially for those who are just beginning their Jiu Jitsu journey, that training does not get any easier. And this is the beauty of the art of Jiu Jitsu.
Often, we think if we train a little longer, learn a little more, or overcome an obstacle Jiu Jitsu will become less challenging. This could not be further from the truth. It becomes more challenging. Let me explain. The more we train, the better we become. As our knowledge and ability increases, the art of Jiu Jitsu demands more from us. There should not be a time that we plateau. Our goal is to continually push past previous limits and not remain in our comfort zone. To expect Jiu Jitsu to become easier sets us up for discouragement and frustration. By embracing and overcoming each new challenge we continually progress which becomes a source of encouragement.
Jiu Jitsu is a complex art. There is more to it than may initially be apparent. Much goes on under the surface and behind the scenes. Time and experience will reveal these undercurrents and give you the ability to see the details and complexity of a match. One of the fascinating aspects of Jiu Jitsu is the more you progress through training the more you appreciate the art.
When you attend class and train consistently you will progress and improve. Your training partners will also be improving. In this environment the margin of error becomes smaller so you must become more precise. The smallest opening can give your opponent the advantage. Simply a grip misplacement could cost you the position. As both you and your opponent improve you are required to think and act faster. As you grow you will recognize and react to small mistakes made by your opponent. You are able to focus on the details of each position and have a deeper understanding of the art. While it does not get easier you will appreciate and enjoy the training even more.
The misaligned expectation that Jiu Jitsu will get easier leads to disillusionment when it does not become a reality. This is usually when people quit in their Jiu Jitsu journey. They give up on their training and forfeit their own development process. Too often I hear students second guessing themselves and their abilities. They think that they should have attained a certain level of expertise within a predetermined timeline and become frustrated. They compare themselves to others, put pressure on themselves to perform a certain way or burden themselves with unrealistic expectations.
Again, it is not easy to train Jiu Jitsu. Easy should never be the goal of our training. It is about improving, growing, learning and having fun. It is about living a lifestyle that is fit and prepared mentally, physically and emotionally. It keeps you engaged in your own development and progression. One of the incredible aspects of Jiu Jitsu is that there is always more to learn. And this brings new challenges that further our growth and keeps the journey exciting. The need to continually learn and improve should not discourage you. Rather, it should excite and encourage you. This is what personally excites me the most. Why? Because it pushes me to higher levels. I can see a correlation between my Jiu Jitsu growth and my personal growth.
Understanding the challenges of Jiu Jitsu, let’s be gracious toward ourselves and take off the pressure to perform. Jiu Jitsu has so much to offer. It is a rich source of personal transformation. Jiu Jitsu can build our confidence, strengthen our character and keep us in shape. It is an opportunity to be part of a caring community. It is such a beautiful and fun art. Let’s enjoy the journey.
– Professor Tony Passos