The Weakest Link

Shihan says if something isn’t fun, don’t do it, and Jiu-Jitsu hasn’t been very much fun for me lately.  I still love it as much as I ever did, but I don’t love going to class right now.  I’m starting to think it’s possible that I’m too much of an introvert, and I don’t have enough of an ego to train Jiu-Jitsu.  I believe you need a great deal of self-confidence to survive in the long term, and I do not have much at all.

Even when I am confident in what I’m doing, I don’t come across that way.  Since I am so uncomfortable talking to and interacting with people, I get nervous, and I have a hard time remembering and explaining things, especially to people I don’t know very well.  This leads to some new students thinking that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, and therefore not respecting me.  Then I have to waste half of my drilling time trying to convince them I am correct, and even when our teacher tells them that I’m right, it doesn’t seem to help.

Most of the students do respect my knowledge, but the few who don’t are really killing it for me.  It’s bad enough that I already think I’m the weakest link in our Jiu-Jitsu chain, and now I’m starting to feel like more of a liability than an asset.  It’s crushing my spirit. I just want to feel like I belong there, that I deserve to be there, and I don’t want to be judged against a standard I have no hope of ever attaining.  I will probably never be a good teacher, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer.

When I say that training Jiu-Jitsu is outside of my comfort zone, I don’t think most people truly understand how much.  For several years before I started at the dojo, I was borderline agoraphobic, and I only left my house and interacted with people when it was absolutely necessary.  Some days I still have panic attacks before I go to class.  Even writing this blog is a huge deal for me.  It’s hard enough for me to put myself out there, and to interact so closely with other human beings, without feeling as though some of them don’t want me around.

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9 comments on “The Weakest Link

  1. Sounds like you are at a low point right now. I urge you to just keep walking in the door. I know from the way you write that you love BJJ too much to give up.Some people like teaching and are good at it; some people just don't and aren't. It is just one aspect of MA- you're not a failure if that's just not one of your strong points.As far as the social aspect, I got nothin', cause I'm the same way. ;)

  2. memes are dangerous, "if something isn't fun, don't do it" I think is just capturing an idea that if you are making yourself miserable doing something, you need to really question your motivation for doing it, and if there is no compelling reason, then stop doing it.But, if you are motivated to do something, even if it isn't 'fun' at this moment / this stage, then maybe this meme is of more use :-"if it is painful, do it more often."Which is the idea, that if you avoid / keep to a minimum the things that you suck at have trouble with, cause you grief, then you very little opportunity to get better at those things. So its better to make those things happen more regularly and as a natural consequence, you tend to work out better ways to deal with it.I'm similar to you, if someone asks me something, or if I have to explain something, I can become incoherent. So I try to watch what other people do to explain things on the fly, come up with what I should of said, and take opportunities to explain things….and quite often I still suck. but that's ok.Not everyone has to respect you either, in fact, sometimes that's a good thing, keeps you on your toes. Even if it is frustrating. Its a good lesson in taking your ego out of it, and relying on your own sense of self and confidence, and be at peace with it.

  3. Thanks for the support, all of you are right.No matter how hard it gets sometimes, I never seriously consider quitting. I really cannot imagine my life without Jiu-Jitsu, so I will figure out how to deal with things like this, one way or another.

  4. You are a good teacher. You did a great job teaching me the three escapes when someone is in my guard. I still mentally practice the guillotine choke and remind myself of the two other escapes. I'm even going to use the guillotine choke in a fight sequence in a short story I want to write (if I ever write it). You have incredible talent shown in writing the blog as well. I started reading them because you are my friend and I wanted to support your endeavor, but I continue to read them because they are worth my time to read. Do not doubt yourself so fiercely! Train sincerely and hard; the rest is gravy.

  5. Thank you Karin and Ken (the two people who stand to my right in the Karate line ;)It was easy to teach you, Karin, because I am completely comfortable around you, and because you are a good student.

  6. So many times I've felt the same way Gina. So many times you've encouraged me. Told me that I deserved to train. So I'm telling you now, you deserve to train. You belong on the mats. And I will second Karin's sentiments, I love your blog and I read it every day. It makes me smile, it makes me laugh it makes me think.

  7. Thank you, Debra.Ok, everyone can stop commenting now because you're making me cry…but in a good way ;) Seriously, all of your support means a lot to me.

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