Being better than you were yesterday is the goal
Being better than you were yesterday is the goal you should have through your journey through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That applies at every single belt from white through black. There are 2 motivational quotes that I love about the beginning stages of BJJ. The first is Confucius’ “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.” Earl Nightingale’s “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” is the other. Giving deep thought to these 2 quotes can put you in the right state of mind to succeed.
“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.”
The first 6 months to a year of BJJ can be a tough road. There are dozen of new techniques to master and at times, it feels like you are never going to get it. Then the physical part comes right after that. You lose, then lose some more, and even more after that. Then you see others that started around the same time as you getting promoted quicker than you. It can be a serious blow to one’s ego. Many new BJJ practitioners quit in the first 6 months. They make every excuse in the book why they failed but the honest truth is, they stopped coming. The great Renzo Gracie coined the phrase “A blackbelt is a whitebelt who never quit.” It’s so true. If you continue plugging along, you will get better. I explain to my students every day, it’s like a totem pole, right now you are on the bottom of it. As new students enroll, you move up and practice on them. which leads us to…
Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
I have a student named Jenn who was recently promoted to bluebelt. Since she joined our Academy, she has been by far the smallest person in the room every night. But she is a fighter. It took Jenn almost 2 years to reach bluebelt. Belts are not given away at our Academy. Many, many people would have given up. Jenn did not. Her journey has been frustrating at times and awesome at others. She won her first tournament recently at the NJBJJF. She has learned a lot in the past year, especially that you cannot be perfect in BJJ, it is a process, one that is difficult at times. Congrats Jenn, this promotion was one of my favorite in the 10 years of the school. And judging by the sheer happiness of so many in the room that day, others felt that way as well. The journey continues….