Motivation: Do You Really Have What it Takes to Succeed in Jiu-Jitsu?

Motivation: Do You Really Have What it Takes to Succeed in Jiu-Jitsu?

Photo:© Piotr Pędziszewski/PitBullWestCoast


“Jiu Jitsu was designed to make you quit. Jiu Jitsu will find your weakness. Jiu Jitsuwill show your true colors. You can not fake jiu jitsu”. -Saulo Ribero.

Motivation: It is not strength, but desire that moves us.

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Written by Stevie Linton, 1rst degree BJJ Black Belt, instructor at Maxercise Academy in Philadelphia. Check out his excellent blog Jiu-Jitsu Stevie .


Most of us are pretty driven by jiu jitsu.  We go in there of our own free will, and grind it out with our friends and training partners nearly everyday.  We do all this to get better, and for what?  Do we do it to become world champions, to win a specific tournament, to protect ourselves, to loose weight, to get laid? Perhaps we do it for all of the above.  Well the truth is most of the jiu jitsu community does not go in there day in day out, and stick it out.  They find excuses, get lazy, succumb to peer pressure, or the comfort of their couch, just to watch the latest episode of dancing with the stars or whatever else it is people watch. Most jiu jitsu practitioners will start later in life, most are males (all though the female involvement is picking up fast), and most will reach blue belt by their mid thirties, and feel like they accomplished something.

Now I am not saying you did not accomplish something if you got your blue belt, because you did. Now you got a handle on the basics.  You learned how to defend against the fundamental attacks, and move in a way that is not like that of a blind, spastic, deaf and uncoordinated baby Giraffe drowning in a pool of starved great white sharks.  Now you are just a spastic baby giraffe that learned how to dog paddle, you opened your eyes, and you can see the sharks coming.  And instead of getting eaten, you stick your arms out to let me them chomp that off first.  The sharks eat the rest of you next, but at least you can put of a chase and some defense.

That is how it goes ladies and gentlemen.  The thing is, people stop at blue belt, especially if they are in their mid thirties.  My first instructor told me when I got my blue belt, “you think you’re special now huh… you’re not special, there’s a sea of blue belts out there…” Things were different back then, but he was right.  Now I am not trying to relate only to the “blue belt curse”, everyone loses motivation, but the majority are these folks.




I recently have been losing steam, going back to college to work on a different degree, getting older, and realizing there are other responsibilities other then myself.  All these things have drained me somewhat.  I find myself not wanting to do much when I wake up some days, not wanting to put in the extra work that it takes just for me to stay baseline amongst the rest of the black belt animals in the world.   But I force myself to do it, and fight hard to not go through the motions on the days my motivation is lacking.  I want no weaknesses when I go out there to compete, and put it all on the line.  So I remind myself of that when I feel like half assing’ it in a roll, because I can, or when I feel like cutting a work out short.  I say in my head, or out loud, “no weaknesses”, and remind myself of all the weak-minded people sitting on the couch when they could be training

Now I know we all cannot train all the time, everyday.  But most make excuses, and do no t train when they know they could, and make that choice to take the easy path.  I ask myself, “How do they sleep at night?”  I do not want to be one of those weak-minded people, so I go, and I work out, and I push, and I train, and I roll in this heat, even when I do not want to, why?  Because training jiu jitsu, or fighting has always been something I felt I had to do, it was never really a choice; I was looking for it my whole life. Most martial artists do, it is just something inside us that we know we have to do.  If you do not think you are going to stick with it, just quit now. But if you are feeling less motivated, but know you want this, push through, and don’t be weak minded like the rest of them.


Watch this great video for some Jiu-Jitsu motivation: