“The More You Think, The More Nervous You Get” – Roger Gracie On The Moments Before The Fight

“The More You Think, The More Nervous You Get” – Roger Gracie On The Moments Before The Fight

How do you feel before a BJJ match? Nervous, anxious… Emotional and stressed out?
If that’s the case, then you’re probably thinking way too much. And you should start learning how to “empty your mind”.

Roger Gracie started developing that skill when he reached his black belt. So, as he emphasized in a recent Lex Fridman Podcast episode, the fight for him starts way before the referee says “go”:

I think that it’s very important for me to start before… I almost walk [with my mind] blank to the mat.

Many times I passed my friends and I couldn’t see anyone who wanted to talk, because I’m 100% focused on my opponent and I cannot even see them in front of me.
So, it was always very important for me to clear my mind out from everything.

It’s a skill you learn, says the Gracie:

It’s something that you learn. [Because] the more you think, the more nervous you get. And there’s nothing you’ll gain from thinking about the fight or the possibilities like: “What can go wrong, what can go right…”
Because, you have no idea – there’s no way to predict the fight.

It makes you feel better [emptying your mind]. You, kind of, control your emotions, control your adrenaline and your body. So, it absolutely helps you to focus on the fight.

For instance, this skill will help you when you get exhausted in a match:

There’s a lot of times in a fight when you get tired, really tired… And the last thing you want to think at that time is how tired you are.

Because, it doesn’t matter. What are you going to do, quit? It doesn’t matter how tired you are.

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