Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Man In The Arena...

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Losing To Win...

One of the most intriguing concepts I have learned over my study of jiu jitsu is the idea of losing to win.

When starting jiu jitsu lessons I used and depended on my natural attributes to ease the ego blow of being smashed daily. Its never fun to lose over and over again so it is very natural for people to overemphasize strength and athleticism while learning the sport. My first 3 years of jiu jitsu training, I exclusively tried to smash everyone I trained with and avoided any dangerous positions. I would as soon die than let someone sweep and pass my guard. I would panic in any dangerous positions and my defensive skills were far behind my offensive assault. Regardless I still competed well and won many tournaments but I could tell my potential had been reached.
I came to a cross roads in my training when I decided to break down all my weaknesses and focus on the mental side of the game. I used to hate being on bottom in side control where I felt claustrophobic and weak. My new goal was to force myself to deal with this apparent fear and force my self to deal with it. From this mindset I realized how bad my submission and pinning escapes just were. My game sank to new lows and I became very depressed with my training to the point where I wanted to quit.
As bad as things were I started to relax and focus on exactly what was happening to me in those bad positions. I was able to gain valuable insight into the deeper realms of the sport and my game flourished like never before. I was in tune mentally with everything I did on the mat and feel I learned at an incredible rate.

The key to growth I believe in this sport is a selfish training mindset. You can’t worry about what other people think of your training sessions or how you perform. The focus must be on your specific training goals and your long-term goals. In order to develop flawless technique you must turn off your ego and any other natural attribute that can hinder its growth.
Hope this has been helpful and good luck with your training.