It will be ok.
Students and practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu approach me on a daily basis with a sense of frustration. They are upset and feel like they aren't improving. They are trapped inside of their own brain and are being armbarred by insecurity. Life would be much easier, if they only realized how GREAT they are doing.
I find myself constantly reassuring them. Most of these practitioners have been training around 6 months to 2 years. They are not really at a point where they can be the judge of their own abilities, because they do not have a complete understanding of the art. Their frustration is usually a mixture of things.
These all sound like frustrating situations. Truthfully, until a certain point in our training, NONE of us have control over any of these things, until a certain point in our training.
Have patience...It will be ok.
You have NOT gotten worse.
Early in my BJJ career, I can remember hitting techniques in competition that I did not have success with in training.
Originally, these techniques were my best techniques and suddenly, they started to not work in practice. I was incredibly confused. I wondered why they would work in a tournament, and not in class.
After much reflection, I realized that my lack of success in practice was due to my training partners improving!
At a tournament, people did not have any idea what my best attacks were and did not have an understanding of my style. This revelation helped me immensely. I would go back to training and come up with new transitions and set ups for my best moves. This kept my practice partners on their toes!
As competitors started to figure me out, I had to do the same for them. I was FORCED to evolve. All that time, I just thought I sucked and was getting worse!
Your training partners are TRAINED for you. Most of you have been rolling and practicing together for so long, your matches might seem choreographed. They know every move you make.
On top of that, JUT LIKE YOU, they are improving! They also might train more than you and get more mat time. This is going to make things tough.
Have no fear and remember...healthy competition with practice partners is great, but -- to much competitiveness in practice will lead to you having a desire to see your teammates get worse and devolve. This is an unconscious thought. This type of environment becomes TOXIC and leads to locker room talk of "who tapped who." If you want to see some BIG LEAGUE improvement, you better hope your training partners are tapping you.
How to conquer these feelings
The Universe and Jiu-Jitsu, has a unique way of working itself out. Chris Haueter said, "It's not who's good, it's who's left." That is so true! With endurance and persistence, you can overcome ALL talent and ALL skill. The smartest and toughest people in the world will fail if they lack persistence.
Make sure that your practice is academic. Keep studying the art and searching for answers. Keep refining until your blade is shape. When you are doing your daily practice, you must remember, your teammates know EVERYTHING about you. They are your kryptonite.
Go into your next practice and attack with an entirely different strategy. If you play guard, try to get on top. If you prefer arm locks, attack with all chokes. If you usually pass guard, sit back for a leg.
This will put you ahead of the rest. This will keep your training sessions exciting, less frustrating, and fresh.
The feelings you feel, are not because you are getting worse. You are getting better. Your partners are getting better. They are making it tougher for you and your success yesterday is a failure today. It is ok. Don't compare yourself to everyone you roll with.
Detach yourself from the comparisons and focus on the art. The art is infinite and your abilities are infinite. You will be tied down by your negative ego and constantly disappointed when comparing yourself to others.
Persistence is key. It is everything. Have a little patience. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is so worth it to make there!
Why did I do it?
Last year I had an incredible business opportunity slip through my grasp. I had to turn down an incredible offer. I had to miss out on a HUGE opportunity.
Now, in hindsight, I am so glad I did it!
This was a chance to add to my growing business and a chance to accomplish a goal I had pursued since childhood. If you told me 10 years ago, I would turn down something like this, I would've said you were crazy.
This chance opened my eyes to an array of areas in my business life and personal life, I had been neglecting, procrastinating, and unknowingly failing at.
I was inspired watching a TED Talk with Tai Lopez, in which he explained his daily habit of reading one book per day. He had a quote that resonated with me from his grandfather. This quote was from his grandfather, who was helping Tai through a struggling time. He said, "Don't look inward, look outward." To me, that quote represents the concept of pursuing knowledge and the idea you must get up, get out and put in the work.
"You can pray for rain, but don't forget to water the seeds."
Jiu-Jitsu gives me the tools and teaches to always pursue knowledge and look for answers.
The answers to my business woes and complacency were not trapped inside my brain. They were out there somewhere. Who would've known they were in Barnes and Noble.
1. GRANDIOSE goals, create GRANDIOSE change.
Dale Carnegie is one of my personal favorites. In his book, "Make Yourself Unforgettable", he talks about the dangers of setting GRANDIOSE goals. The main problem with setting a grandiose goal is the fact that they are big goals that usually don't get accomplished because of the individuals arrogance towards the amount of effort, work, or strategy needed towards accomplishing it.
I prefer to set grandiose goals in order to facilitate even MORE motivation. I take on the workload head on and fully accept the possibilities of failure. I know that If my goal is to read a book per month, this will most likely turn into a book per year.
To combat this, I always make my goals ridiculously difficult and almost impossible to accomplish. WHY?
Because, I know that if I set the goal high, it will create an environment in which I have a much greater work load, need to be more disciplined, and could potentially achieve more overall progress.What if I don't reach the goal? So be it! I probably made three times the amount of progress in TRYING to achieve it.
So, to jump start my life change and fix my ways, it HAD to be a book per day. Sometimes two, maybe three. I woke up earlier, sometimes went to bed later, watched little to no TV, and dove right in. This adventure taught me and reminded me to ALWAYS set the bar high. Improvement will be guaranteed.
2. Total immersion is best for learning.
I used to think learning was best accomplished through a step by step, structured and ordered process. I always tried to take my time, and go slow and try to not miss anything. Well, I missed A LOT!
There is nothing wrong with the above method and honestly, it can work perfectly fine. It has its time and place. However, is that best for our brain? Does our brain care about sequential order?
After one month, my brain was all over the place. I was confusing quotes, forgetting chapters, and forgetting where I had left off. Suddenly, an amazing process began. Everything started to work its way out. Like a switch was turned on and everything was stored exactly where it should be. It was incredible to feel my brain sorting things out and putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
In the beginning, I told myself, I was just going to read, maybe take notes, and let things happen. I read everything I could that related to my interests. I read fast, read slow, jotted some things down, and even skipped some parts that didn't apply to me. I immersed myself. I jumped into it.
It actually calmed me. My whole life was patterned around doing everything in order. Especially when it came to learning. But, learning is deeper than that. It is truly about acquiring the information, working with that information in some type of practice, and letting your brain store it and takeover the rest.
When you want to learn something, dive in. Study and watch EVERYTHING. Things will stick at different points for different reasons. Something that doesn't make a difference to you now, will make a difference later when it matters more.
3. One year ago, I couldn't open a Microsoft Word Document.
That is an absolute fact. It is a sad fact. It is one of my regrets in life. I have a lot of regrets. I love regrets. They are reminders of past failures and misfortunes. They are motivation. My life was built upon a foundation of regrets. Don't run from them. Don't lie to yourself about not regretting. Push through it and make sure it never happens again.
Growing up, I was OBSESSIVELY focused on Jiu-Jitsu. I had a one track mind and it greatly effected my grades and performance in school. I was educated on the mats. Luckily, it worked out. Mostly do to my will, persistence, hustle, and grit , but it was unfortunate to lose out on certain skills. I missed out on a lot of technological and educational lessons that could've made life much easier. I neglected habits that would help me day to day, off the mat. It's ok. I use this experience as a lesson to inspire kids to focus on education and to make sure they understand WHY they need to finish those tricky math problems that don't seem functional at all.
After 5 months of a ONE book per day.
Sweethearts and Heroes co-founder, Jason Spector, offers a valuable reminder for all of life's tragedies and failures...
"Make it the best thing that ever happened to you."
I am glad I turned down the INCREDIBLE business oppprtunity. If I hadn't, I would not have gained the amount of knowledge and new found success I own now forever. I would be trapped in a failing situation, gasping for air.
I am glad I had the sense to "look outward". All of the masters in life have their wisdom and knowledge laid out on those things called pages, divided into things called chapters and binded into things called books. Oh yeah, and they definitely save a lot of details for their books. Google does not have all the answers.
ALL THE SOLUTIONS are there. It will take some discipline to find them and some sleepless nights searching for them.
It will be all worth it. Set your goals high. Jump right into it, don't wait. Challenge yourself to learn something you never learned before. You will be better. You will be satisfied. It can change your life.
Everyday people ask, so here it is...
DO JIU-JITSU...A LOT!
That's it! Your technique and brain circuits need to be wired for the mats. Until then, anything else you do, will be taking you away from important time on the mat.
Until you have sufficient technique, you will not be able to have control over your cardio.
**For the impatient blog skimmers, the answer is towards the end.**
Jiu-Jitsu is priceless
Ok, so you bring your child to our academy and you want them to attend classes. Every parent has their personal reasons. Some reasons include...
The best part is the fact that they will receive ALL of that and then some. But here is what really sends our program and the value of it into the priceless category.
We utilize Jiu-Jitsu almost like an insurance policy for your child's future. Jiu-Jitsu becomes a tool to manifest ALL of those special traits and abilities.
The training that takes place on the sacred mats of EFJJA have become a lab for child development. In our lab, kids are faced with incredible opportunities to hone and sharpen these traits and skills.
They learn courage by taking on a larger training partner. They learn patience by sitting patiently during class or waiting for the moment to attack in their match. If they are not patient, they will not be able to "win". ALL positive behaviors and social skills are constantly reinforced. They are expected to behave maturely while having fun and are forced to work with various partners of different ages, genders, and abilities. I could go on forever.
The BEST part...
All of this happens by accident. The training, to them, seems fun and seems like they are merely learning self-defense. What they don't realize; the areas of the brain that get used and activated when these abilities are needed, are getting a constant workout during class.
They are getting sharpened with each lesson and teachable moment. They are getting more self control with each grappling match and they are becoming empowered and transformed into REAL LIFE, superheroes.
The comparison of Jiu-Jitsu to another activity or sport is not a reasonable comparison. It isn't fair to the other activities because the value of Jiu-Jitsu reaches incredible heights. If you offered me a BILLION dollars, I wouldn't give up the art. Jiu-Jitsu is an art that takes an individual to the most instinctive element of human behavior. It is practiced with others and it is a game of self mastery.
You cannot be successful if you don't fully understand yourself. You cannot be successful if you do not learn how to coexist with others in our community and the community around us.
What is the MOST IMPORTANT reason your child should do Jiu-Jitsu???
They will use these lessons they learn on the mat to move swiftly and gracefully through life. Gaining confidence as the grow and having the ability to courageously, stand up for their beliefs. To have the humility to understand when they should compromise them.
Jiu-Jitsu is an ART form. It is ULTIMATE human behavior supplement. Where else could your child receive DAILY practice in the following areas...
When you are calculating the cost of classes, don't forget to add in the value. When your child leaves the nest, they will thank you. You will have prepared them for adulthood.
How did this masterful preparation occur? By using the most effective, sharpest, and skillful tool there is for life, Jiu-Jitsu.
Teaching Jiu-Jitsu for on the mat performance and for the manifestation of those skills into reality.
JIU-JITSU TEACHES US HOW TO LIVE
Jiu-Jitsu will ENHANCE your life
Most people start out in Jiu-Jitsu expecting to learn Self-Defense and get into shape. Over time, practitioners come to realize; Jiu-Jitsu ENHANCES every area of their life. Every lesson you learn on the mats, will have a direct correlation and connection to every situation in your life.
Each practice, you dive into physical training that stimulates the brain as much as the body. This creates a euphoria and thirst for knowledge the brain craves. These sensations slow as we age and as our high energy, activity level drops off and stalls. Jiu-Jitsu is a tool to keep you feeling young, alive, and excited for LIFE!
The physical training, mental training, and concepts become a part of your habit, subconsciously. You become Jiu-Jitsu.
This is why everybody is SMILING at Jiu-Jitsu ;)
Benefit One - Patience
Every successful Jiu-Jitsu'ist has this important quality mastered. They have no choice but to become patient. Countless hours on the mat, in TOUGH spots and precarious predicaments force this attribute.
You come to realize, if you want to progress, you must become patient. The consistent practice of patience on the mat, bleeds over into the rest of your life.
The training and lessons pass through your mind as you wait in line at the DMV, as your child's behavior tests you, or as you wait for opportunities and openings in the workforce. Sometimes you have to WAIT for the opening to occur or for the onslaught to pass before you can be successful.
Benefit Two - Problem Solving
If you can escape from the Full Mount, while someone is trying to arm lock you...You have MASTERED problem solving.
How many situations require problem solving? Not just problem solving, but being able to solve the crisis - under pressure. Everyone has this skill, just some better than others.
Being able to focus, analyze and interpret problems could save your life. It could improve your life. It WILL make things a lot easier. Jiu-Jitsu gives you the guidance and the map to bring you in the right direction.
When you have to focus on class instruction, thoroughly search for details, and pay attention to the small things - you become problem proof. Again, you can't be successful at Jiu-Jitsu or anything for that matter; without focusing on every little detail and looking for every possible way to find the solution.
Benefit Three - Disciplined Habits
The great, Royce Gracie taught a seminar at The Eddie Fyvie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Malta, NY. After the seminar he gave an insightful Q&A. He explained that DISCIPLINE was the number one lesson his father, Helio Gracie, passed down to him.
We could all use more discipline in our lives. More discipline to eat better, sleep better, shed unwanted pounds and so much more. The fact is...we need MOTIVATION to do these things.
Jiu-Jitsu is that motivation. It is a stimulating activity that creates a burning desire to become your best. The only way to accomplish that, is to curb all of your vices and destroy undisciplined habits.
It is amazing to see people change their ways as they move through the ranks. They don't realize they are doing it. They have the intuition to change habits as they feel sluggish, feel stagnant, and feel frustrated on the mats. The motivation makes them willing to do whatever it takes to combat their lack of willpower.
The areas of your life that have frustrated you and issues you have procrastinated fixing will slowly fade away. In order to reach your BJJ goal, you need to tap out your habits!
Benefit Four - Social Confidence
We see some beginning students start their journey with a fear of social interaction, conflict, and connection.
The physical power gained through Jiu-Jitsu provides the foundation for your social confidence and connection.
Thousands of students have walked through the doors that suddenly received a promotion at work because of a new found and inspired work ethic. They had the courage to approach the girl they were nervous to approach. They had the fortitude to speak their mind to the bully or coworker who was taking advantage of them. The camaraderie on the mats and empowerment felt through the art destroys your social barriers.
I hope you can handle feeling invincible.
Benefit Five - Happiness
Without personal happiness, you have ZERO ability to truly be the best friend, parent, spouse, or sibling you can be. You can last for sometime without it, but it will catch up to you.
It is like when you are on a plane and receive instructions to save yourself first. This is done so you can help or save others. Personal happiness is the same.
The endorphins, the physical and mental power, the new found friends and acquaintance create a heightened sense of satisfaction. This satisfaction makes you feel enlightened and strengthens you like never before. Moving throughout your day with a smile and something to look forward to. Going through life feeling accomplished day to day because you are accomplishing difficult goals and tasks.
You will be happier. There is not a sad face in the Jiu-Jitsu room. We won't allow it. We will be there to uplift your spirits and keep you motivated.
What does this all mean? Do Jiu-Jitsu!
www.EFJJA.com || Feel the change.