Convergence will lead to failure

I have seen the following scenario play out many times over the years:

A new student begins training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.    Additionally, the student also decides to do one or more of the following:  create a weightlifting program or join Crossfit, decide on a running or sprinting regime, start or continue another martial art, or change the way they eat with the newest MMA weight cutting program.  This is a student who wants everything and whats it now.  Then, around that 30 to 60 day mark, they quit never to return.

This student begins their multiple programs with good intentions and is very energetic (in the beginning) and enthusiastic about learning and training.  But what they do not know is that they have unrealistic expectations.   The beginner has enough to focus on alone with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.   Add more programs that require intense physical exertion and discipline, and the deck is now stacked against the student.  As time goes on, issues start to appear in class.  The student appears sick or fatigued.  Maybe they have an emotional outburst here and there.  They start to complain about something or start making excuses for poor performance.  They start to avoid training or class altogether.  Then finally, the injuries come. Now all the energy, discipline, and enthusiasm that the new student once had is now replaced with frustration, anxiety, and disappointment.  They want desperately to continue everything that they started but fear that failure is imminent.  Then, predictably, a tipping point happens and one of their plans completely fails.  Then, they all fail.

Just like the first lesson,  here is another valuable piece of advice for beginners:  focus on your Jiu Jitsu.  The body and the mind cannot support the convergence of multiple activities at once.   The mind has a finite amount of willpower.   Commit to training 2 to 3 days a week and immerse yourself in the instruction of the art.  Don’t worry about lifting, running, or other physical regime.  The best way to get in shape for Jiu Jitsu is to do Jiu Jitsu.  And for God’s Sake,  EAT!  Restricting the way you eat at the same time that you are increasing your physical output will make you into an intolerable asshole.  You need to eat in order to pay attention to the complexity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.   Cleaning up your diet,  strength and conditioning, additional martial arts can all come later AFTER you have developed the proper baseline of comfort in Jiu Jitsu.   But, here is the rub:  the proper baseline of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can take years to establish.  The good news, by that time, is that  you realize you never needed the other stuff in the first place.


Some Days You’re the Dog, Some Days You’re the Hydrant

If you train long enough you will experience being the dog and being the hydrant.  Its inevitable.  One day you can do nothing wrong.  Every position, transition, submission comes effortlessly.  You are in the zone, on fire, on top of the podium.

Then, on another day you get your ass kicked.  Repeatedly.

Being at your best and worst are the yin and yang of training and competition.  One cannot exist without the other.  Celebrate this fact.

What is important is your response to each of these situations.   How you handle yourself during the highs and lows of your performance defines who you are.  As long as you train and compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you will have no choice but to deal with both of these scenarios.

The best response in any situation:  Win with Humility; Lose with Grace.