Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is fantastic and immeasurably valuable for so many reasons. It makes you healthier, fitter, and more self-confident. You make friendships, which often last for a lifetime. You create memories and experience some of your happiest moments on the mats. And, of course, the trophies you claim along the way; the wins, the successes, the high-fives…
However, BJJ is not about the trophies you get your hands on. You should focus on enjoying your journey more than on anything else.
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE COMPETITION MEDALS
Winning feels fantastic! Going out to that tournament, tapping out everyone at your belt level and in your weight class; and then getting a chance to wear that gold medal around your neck. What a tremendous feeling, right?
Well, the thing is that it only lasts for a couple of minutes, maybe a few hours at most. You feel exhilarated for a short while, but then the enthusiasm about your success fades and you’re back to what you’re doing every day – training.
What this means is that the medals you win at competitions don’t matter as much as the journey to getting those medals. It’s the journey of being challenged when competing, of having to overcome yourself – your fears, your nerves, your doubts – that count the most.
This journey comes to reflect on your character, strengthening it for all areas of life.
IT’S NOT ABOUT TAPPING OTHERS OUT IN TRAINING
Of course, the „trophies“ don’t come just in the form of getting a medal for winning a tournament; it also comes from tapping out your training partners! For, even though you shouldn’t be a jerk about tapping out your training partners, you’re probably ready to admit that submitting them… Feels kinda nice.
And that’s completely fine, as long as you’re humble about it. But what’s not fine is making it an ultimate goal of your training! Sure, you should go for the submission whenever you see an opportunity for it; but learning should be your primary objective in training.
The journey of learning new techniques and their setups, the ways to improve your already strong or deficient attributes – these should be the things you’re predominantly while you’re in your BJJ class.
However, BJJ isn’t all about the new techniques, either.
IT’S NOT (TOTALLY) ABOUT TECHNIQUES
If you make learning new BJJ techniques your ultimate goal, then you’ll always be dissatisfied and frustrated. The reason? Well, there are so many techniques to choose from! And the ones you’ve already learned, you’ll always have opportunities for improving them.
And it’s precisely in these opportunities for improvement that you should focus while on your technique-journey. You should aim for continuous improvement, not the „perfection“ itself!
Focus on the journey of technique acquisition and progress, and you’ll stay in love with BJJ for many years to come.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
What all of this tells us is that the journey is so much more important than the goals you’re setting in BJJ. Because, while the goals certainly are important (especially for motivating yourself), they’re not the things that are going to make your Jiu Jitsu better in and of itself.
On the contrary, the effort that you invest into learning the techniques, into using them when you roll, and into utilizing them when you’re on tournaments – that’s what matters most.
It’s what matters most, not just for the sake of betterment itself; but for the sake of your enjoyment of the entire BJJ path. The experiences you have along the way and them turning you into a more complete Jiujiteiro and individual… Nothing can surpass that.