How many times have you sat out a round? How many times have you said no to a roll because the partner who offered is drastically better or worse than you?
Everyone doing bjj is at it to improve themselves. Some go all out every round while other spend hours browsing youtube, making maps or simply rehashing rolls.
The moment you step on the mats something changes. And to really develop you need to not only have no ego but to also have rolling partners who are willing to approach it similarly.
They are watching this roll:
And this ego whether it’s yours or your training partners can really hurt your progress. Here’s how Tom DeBlass phrased it:
Listen up, stop being afraid to look bad in the training room.
If you are a competitor give your 100% in everything. Today I drove 2 hours to NYC, took class with Danaher and Gordon and drilled hard for an hour. Took Danahers class and drilled hard for another 30 minutes, then when it was time to roll live I trained every single match.
I was more exhausted than words can express. However, what good will sitting in the corner catching my breath do? I have nothing to prove in the training room, I train to improve and I compete to win. I will train exhausted, there have been times I trained so long and so hard blue belts dominated me, so what. Get dirty, sweat, be exhausted, and work your technique. It’s easy to sit and wait until everyone is tired and then train. However ask yourself, do you want to be a training room champion, or real champion? Time to lift!!
In the documentary Choke Rickson Gracie said that he is ready to die in the ring and would never give up in a fight… In the ideal martial arts world, it’s beautiful but once again it is completely egotistical. It’s just to not have to give up … Give up what? The ego, the illusion of being unbeatable. And while he’s at a certain level it will get you nowhere to mirror this attitude when you’re younger and dedicated to different goals. Our way of being every day on the mat, is our way of saying ‘I’m authentic’, our failures, our tensions, frustrations during this time, allow us to achieve our full potential. And by letting all the cracks show we earn personal rewards, those that cannot be gained from the approval of our instructor or even our peers.
Jiu-Jitsu can lead us to develop an ego rather than cut it off. You do not want fight some opponents because you will get beat, or are out of shape. We are proud to have held our own and maybe not have been submitted but we have a broken arm. Is this something you’re comfortable with? To know that you could’ve prevented damage done to yourself if only you could admit weakness.
We need to be game for everything, game to be submitted by those who are better than us but even more so those who are in some way worse than us be it skill dedication or body mass index.
In words of DeBlass: Get dirty, sweat, be exhausted, and work your technique. It’s easy to sit and wait until everyone is tired and then train.