In trying to convince myself that I should compete in BJJ again, I’ve been thinking about my lack of confidence. Not that I ever had a lot of confidence in my Jiu-Jitsu, but I did have some, and I’ve been trying to figure out how I lost most of it. I’ve decided it’s probably because after I started training at Lincoln BJJ Center, I came to the realization that the majority of the confidence I previously possessed was false confidence.
When I was training back at the dojo, I usually rolled with the same few people (or complete beginners), and at the time I didn’t realize how much most my teammates were taking it easy on me. After we moved to LBJJC, everything about my training stepped up a notch. I’d never actually rolled with The Professor before, so that was eye-opening, and it was as though everyone I trained with started quickly improving (even the beginners), and I couldn’t keep up. Every bit of ego and confidence I had was systematically beat out of me, and the worst part about it was that I was now aware of the fact that most of my seniors were still holding back, at least to some degree.
In addition, with the move to LBJJC, many of the details to techniques I had previously learned changed, and it felt as though almost everything I thought I knew was wrong. As much as I had believed that what we trained at the dojo was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in everything except name, it really wasn’t, at least not Tinguinha’s BJJ.
I didn’t just put on a white belt for a few months when I started training at Lincoln BJJ last year, in many ways it really was like I started all over. I’ve now officially been a BJJ blue belt for a little over a year, and I’m just starting to rebuild my confidence. The difference is that this time I believe it’s real, and not dependent on a compliant or untrained partner. I still may not succeed as often as I would like, and my confidence may still be very small, but it’s constantly growing, along with my skill.
I’ll tell you one thing for sure, I would never go back. I’d rather be traveling the road I’m currently on (continually getting beat and lacking confidence), than return to where I was before (believing I was better than I actually was). Not only is false confidence kind of embarrassing, but it could also be dangerous, especially on the street. I love Jiu-Jitsu even more since I started training at Lincoln BJJ Center, and I’m hopelessly devoted, despite always feeling like I suck!
“Many people go through life thinking they have discipline, fortitude, and grit, but few have ever tested themselves. BJJ is real, it’s in your face, and it exposes all of your weaknesses (emotionally, physically, and technically). BJJ forces you to address these weaknesses, fix them, accept them, or quit. Those are your options.” -Jeremy “Gerbil” Aril