Life lessons in competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The start of a new year also means the start of a new competition season. If you compete or intend to compete, this blog will address lessons you might face or feel in regards to competition. Ski racer, Olympian and World Cup medalist Kelly Venderbeek inspired this blog, “Life lessons from the hill”. I simply adapted it specifically for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It doesn’t matter which sport you practice, the lessons and the heart of a competitor stays the same.
Sometimes, you will lose. Don’t blame the ref, your coaches, the clock, or the situation. Be gracious in defeat and learn from your mistakes, that’s the true sign of a winning attitude. It doesn’t mean you have to accept or be happy about a loss however, take responsibility and learn from it.
Healing. Take care of your body; training hard for competition can be exhausting for your body. Don’t let a little injury become a big injury. Address every injury.
Diet. Starving yourself does not make you stronger for competition. Do it smart; choose your weight category wisely. In most competition, you weigh in with your gi and then you fight (imagine going five rounds starved and dehydrated).
Patience. Kelly Venderbeek…”Just because you’ve worked hard doesn’t mean you’re going to win. Success takes patience, hard work at the right things, learning from others, and picking yourself back up again, and again, and again, and again…(Life lessons from the hill)”.
Discipline. You need to stay focus, and put smart training time on the mats.
Be a good partner and accept feedback. Know whom you can train hard with and whom you can’t. Your training partners are essential for your competition training. Respect them and treat them with dignity. Listen to your coaches.
Self-direction. When it comes down to it, it’s only you and your opponent on the mat. Remember you’re coaches feedback, and you’re game plan but you will have to stand on your own.
Talent isn’t enough. It takes years and years to become a black belt in BJJ. No one is born a black belt champion, you need to work hard and train hard.
Toughness. Be ready to be covered in bruises.
Tap. Know when you’re a defeated; don’t take the chance of being injured because of pride or stubbornness. There is always a next competition to redeem one’s self (it takes more time if you have broken arm or knee).
You don’t have to compete to apply these lessons. Sports, like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, teach us valuable life skills. You might experience more confidence, determination and respect on a daily basis. If you believe that these are good qualities, come and try out one of many Martial Arts programs at K2 Martial Arts & Fitness.