- Always works hard
- Can produce a little extra
- Can make things happen
- Stays in the game regardless of the score
- Sees criticism as helpful feedback
- Is not afraid to fail
- Recovers well after a mistake
- Is a team player
- Never misses a practice
- Makes the right choices every day
The Attributes of the Committed Jiu-jitsu Practitioner
There are many degrees of athletes in the art of jiu-jitsu and that is one of the things that make it such an amazing practice. Anyone can do it regardless of their athletic ability, coordination or competitive nature. All of the points made in this article can be adjusted to your interpretation and level of training in the art. If you are a high-level competitor then your level of execution with these principles will be different than someone doing the practice for fun or fitness, but the application of these attributes still apply to all.
Always Work Hard
When you are on the mat, train smart. Working hard does not mean going out there and giving every ounce of energy until you break. It means pushing your physical, technical, strategic understanding and your mental focus to the best of your ability.
Produce a Little More.
When you are on the mat how focused are you? Do you spend 15 minutes of every hour talking about this move and that one? Do you get to class early and stay late? There are always ways to improve and give a little more.
Can You Make Things Happen?
There are many applications of this lesson. Can you find a way to get motivated when you are not? Can you connect with your teammates to build a stronger community? Can you follow through with your goal of doing 250 repetitions of a technique every week for the next 6 weeks? Can you stay positive throughout the day and on the mat?
Stay in Fight Regardless of the Score.
In jiu-jitsu you must believe in yourself. Maybe you are rolling with someone in class who has great top control and you have been on the bottom defending all class, do you stay hopeful that you can create a space to get ahead? If it does not happen that session, do you stay focused on improving your game so the next time you get a chance to be on the bottom with that person you will have better results? Or maybe you are in a competition and are down 12 points, do you keep fighting for the submission?
Take Criticism as Constructive Feedback.
When the coach or training partner gives you criticism or offers pointers do you listen? With athletes sometimes it is easy to get caught up in our own thoughts and miss valuable input from others. Keep an open mind and look at things from every perspective.
Is Not Afraid to Fail
Are you timid to roll with the guy/girl who tapped you out the last 5 times you rolled with them? Are you scared to go for the submission if you’re ahead on points? Are you comfortable letting yourself get in situations that challenge your ability to defend?
Recovers Well After a Mistake
Do you learn from your mistakes? If you get tapped out in your first match of a competition can you be strong and positive in the next match? When your partner tap’s you out do you make an excuse or say, “good job that timing was awesome?”
Is a Team Player
Do you understand that winning is not why we practice and that making the team better will make you and everyone else better? Are you willing to tap out to help the new blue belt improve his game or does your ego get in the way?
Always Makes Scheduled Training Days
Everyone is busy and excuses are a dime a dozen. Do you make excuses to miss training or excuses to be on the mat? Consistency is huge and time flies by faster than you think. Five, ten, fifteen years will go by fast. Do you want to look back at all of your excuses or all you have accomplished? I have never met a bjj black belt who looked back and regretted getting their black belt, but I have heard countless regretful stories from people who have not.
Makes the Right Choices Everyday
Jiu-jitsu teaches us to be strategic with how we think. These lessons teach us to flow on the mat, but they also help us flow through the day in our daily activities. Do you use these lessons at work, with family, friends, driving, etc…?
As jiu-jitsu practitioners, we need to understand these points no matter what our goals are with the training. Often students will start a practice like this because it is enjoyable and that is enough to keep them in the game. My hope is by you taking a few minutes to read this that it will help you to have a deeper purpose for the practice and get a little more out of your time on the mat. Peace