Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter cascao vital and runs cascao bjj hard knocks out of Las Vegas nv.
Character is shaped from tough times and life’s challenges. Every accomplishment in life that is worth pursuing is done through hard work, persistence and a certain level of suffering. Whether it is overcoming a health limitation or finishing your first marathon, the good things in life require a bit of suffering before you make it to the other side. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is no different.
A daily routine for BJJ practitioners puts us across the mat from an opponent who wants to get their arm around our neck and squeeze that choke until our world goes black. We find ourselves routinely stuck under larger opponents feeling claustrophobic and challenged to just get a breath of air. When our heart rate is raised and our lactic acid levels are high and the sweat is making the mat into a sand bar, we don’t stop, we suffer, and we continue. What comes from all of this? Patience. Being stuck in a bad position and realizing that you have to work through this even if it means being stuck there for the whole round, or failing there for months before you find your escape plan that works effectively all takes patience and it is patience that stops you from quitting when things don’t go your way the first time. No big accomplishment in BJJ is immediate. Your time will come.
Discipline is developed through suffering.
There are days and weeks that you have legitimate excuses as to why you should miss your training, but for years you make sure your BJJ practice is a top priority. You miss a class because of work, you find a way to make it up, even if its just open mat training. You feel like being lazy, you tell that inner weak bitch to keep its thoughts to its self and you train anyway. You are a bit tired and would rather sit in front of the TV, but instead you pack your bag and head to the gym. You suffer at times for your goals through discipline, because it’s always easier to not do then to do.
Persistence is the biggest one. A better word for it is grit. Grit is where you don’t give up no matter how shitty things get. You have your target goal and nothing will keep you from achieving it. We get defeated in BJJ 1000’s of times, from the first day of training to our last, we get our guards passed, our limbs get isolated and hyperextended, our heads caught in chokes and our ass’s slammed on the mat from a hard takedowns. We get injured, tired and humbled, but we never stop coming. With that grit is how progress is made.
For most people, the easy way is their way. For martial artists and athletes, the easy way gets you average, and average gets you nowhere exciting and worthwhile. So next time when you are sitting down thinking or talking about all the benefit’s BJJ brings to your life, make sure you don’t leave out the most important one, SUFFERING. Now go get on the mat and train hard, Osss.
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