A sense of progress

Sense of progress

I always tell my students - if happiness is what you seek - stay away from jiu jitsu!! Of course it’s a joke, but like most jokes, there is truth in it. Jiu jitsu can be a path to endless frustrations, perplexities, doubts, physical pains etc. Ask any jiu jitsu gym owner what his biggest problem with students is and you will always get the same answer - retention. I find the biggest reason why jiu jitsu has such a high attrition rate comes down to the mind set of the student. Anything good in life will be hard work - jiu jitsu is no exception. It’s easy to get frustrated at the amount of time and effort it takes to improve. This is compounded by the fact that AS YOU IMPROVE, SO DO ALL YOUR CLASSMATES. So you rarely get a sense of getting better than them. If we think in terms of gaining happiness in jiu jitsu through competition with others, you will be doomed to misery and frustration as you all progress at roughly the same rate. The resultant frustration often makes people quit. A much healthier approach is to constantly look for GROWTH as the source of happiness in the study of jiu jitsu rather than competitive progress. A growth centered mindset does not ask how we do against our classmates - BUT AGAINST AN EARLIER VERSION OF OURSELVES. Once you internalize the quest for progress happiness is much more attainable. A little reflection reveals that in most cases (unless you are suffering from serious injury) we know a lot more, and can satisfactorily perform a great many more moves and have a deeper sense of tactics etc now than we did say a year ago. Structure your training around this mindset. Constantly set small goals for yourself to accomplish that are concerned with acquiring a new technique, improving an old one, or combining techniques together in new ways. The worst feeling in jiu jitsu and in life is that of STAGNATION. Focus your mind and training on incremental progress against yourself rather than others and the feelings of frustration and stagnation that are the most likely to make you stop training are much less likely to occur.