In order to last any length of time in Jiu-Jitsu, I think you need to have intestinal fortitude. You have to be willing to go out there and get your ass kicked, over and over and over again. Yeah, at some point you also get to start kicking some ass, but even then, you’re still getting your ass kicked, too. I can’t even imagine how many ass-kickings my BJJ instructor Greg had to go through at Tinguinha’s Academy to get to black belt! It’s no wonder that people who don’t train Jiu-Jitsu sometimes think we’re a little crazy for doing it…
Outsider: “How was your day?”
BJJ Fanatic: “It was awesome, I got my ass kicked eight times!”
One thing that sets BJJ apart from most other martial arts is that every day you’re on the mat, your skills are tested in a dynamic way, against people who are fully resisting you. There is no false sense of security, no fooling yourself into thinking you’re more awesome than you are, you know exactly where your abilities stand. Sometimes it can take months, or even years, to see significant improvement in just one aspect of your game, and you will fail many times before you succeed (or maybe that’s just me, because I suck ;). To continue training through the plateaus, through the times when it seems like nothing is working, takes a faith that what you are learning is valid, that it will work someday, as long as you keep trying. As for me, I’m a believer.
I think that’s really the secret to getting better at Jiu-Jitsu, you just have to keep going to class and getting your ass kicked. I’ve been doing it for four years, and I haven’t lost faith yet!
“Some will win, some will lose, some were born to sing the blues.
Oh, the ass-kicking never ends, it goes on and on and on and on…”
-Journey (slightly paraphrased ;)