Eyes On The Prize

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight.One of my bros recently told me to “keep my eyes on the prize” in Jiu-Jitsu, and I had to ask myself exactly what I would consider the prize to be. It certainly isn’t any medal, as I don’t really enjoy competition, and I’ve only done it to improve myself. The prize isn’t about beating my teammates in class, because that rarely happens, and as I improve, so do they, which means that’s unlikely to ever change. Even when it does happen, most of the time I feel bad for them. The prize isn’t about self-defense, because although that’s why I started training Jiu-Jitsu, it’s not why I stay. It isn’t about getting a black belt, because, honestly, I’m happiest in white, and I already have a black belt that I don’t want to wear.

So, what is the goal, what is it that keeps me wanting to move forward? Well, I guess I just love Jiu-Jitsu, and that makes me strive to overcome all of the things that hold me back. I love grappling the same whether I win or lose, which is a good thing, because I lose a lot. In the past I’ve been too concerned with how other people assess my abilities, instead of just focusing on enjoying my journey. I was worried that if I wasn’t good enough, people wouldn’t respect me, or they wouldn’t want to roll or work with me. It wasn’t as much a personal fear of failure as it was a fear of not being accepted.

For me, the prize is about overcoming the fears that keep me from enjoying Jiu-Jitsu (and in turn, life) as much as I can, and training at LBJJ has helped me move forward toward that goal. I truly feel like I belong there, and I’ve been getting a lot of personal assistance from Greg and my brothers, which has made me stop worrying about how much I suck. I may be on the bottom rung of the ladder, but people are reaching down to help me up, and I don’t think they would be doing that if they didn’t respect me. I might never be a great Jiu-Jitsu fighter, but I can always be better, and that’s what keeps me going.

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4 comments on “Eyes On The Prize

  1. For me at this juncture the prize is to stay healthy and uninjured to be able to train. Sure, I want to be a blue belt and eventually black, but most importantly I want to be able to do Jiu-Jitsu.

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