Risk, Fear, Worry: 3 Things To Keep In Mind for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Risk, Fear, Worry: 3 Things To Keep In Mind for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is as much about mindset as it is about your physical skills. It’s as much about your way of thinking, as it’s about how good your technique is. For instance, here are the 3 things you need to keep in mind on your BJJ journey: risk, fear, and worry.
Brian Glick starts by explaining the first factor’s role:

RISK is all around. There is a counter to everything you’re trying to do, and a potential downside if things don’t land perfectly.
Whenever I approach my partner to pass, I risk getting tangled in their legs. Any time I shoot for the single leg, I risk getting sprawled on and ending up in a front headlock.

There’s also fear:

While the risk itself is real, the fear is in our mind. It’s created by “what if”, wondering where we’ll end up if things don’t work out.
Will I get guillotined from the front headlock? Will I get strangled from the back?

And lastly, there’s worry… Which explains why you need to learn to keep these 3 things separate:

WORRY is the work we try to do to mitigate fear – imagining all the ways we can avoid a negative outcome.

If risk always means fear, and fear means worry, you’ll get exhausted long before you get better. But if you can see them all as separate – that you can have risk without tremendous fear or worry – you’ll be able to do your best work.


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