At the end of BJJ class on Thursday night when I was rolling with Ray, I was so sore and tired that I really just wanted to quit, but then Greg said to me “Right now is when you’re learning the most.” I knew he was right, so I feebly kept going.
One of the things Shihan usually does when he teaches at the dojo is before he has us spar he wears us out with exercise and drilling first. He says that way when we fight, we’ll be too tired to use strength or speed, so we’ll have to rely on technique. For me, being really tired also helps reduce the distractions in my head, and as a result, those are the rare times when my mind and body are actually working together. That state of exhaustion is almost like meditation, cutting everything down to the core, and discarding any useless information. Muscle memory is being formed, and it shows you where your abilities really stand.
Outside of competition, I don’t remember ever being this tired while grappling before I started training at LBJJ. Greg puts us through the paces, and I’m already seeing results from it. Last week when I submitted that guy at the end of class, it was after I had left the mat for a few seconds because I felt like I was going to pass out. Instead, I went right back out there, and I got the submission. It probably wouldn’t have happened had I not been so exhausted, because I would’ve “over-thought” my way out of it.
Your body can do much more than your brain thinks it can, and when you feel tired, you usually have a lot more energy left than you realize. In one of Conan’s posts about running he said “run until your knees hit the ground”, because up until that point, even though you might think you can’t go on, you can. I didn’t want to keep rolling with The Doggfather on Thursday, but I did, because I could.