New Attitude

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
-Winston Churchill

A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can't go anywhere until you change it.As I was attempting to pass Mike’s guard during positional sparring in the advanced class on Monday, I was disappointed with myself, but it wasn’t because he kept sweeping me, it was because I kept surrendering. I would quit fighting as soon as I got swept, even though it wasn’t over, because he hadn’t fully gained top control yet, and Mike rightfully admonished me by saying “This is when you should be fighting the hardest!”. I don’t remember what The Professor said at that point, but I know I told him “It doesn’t matter what I do, Mike’s going to sweep or submit me anyway, I can just prolong the inevitable.”, and Greg responded with “But that’s very important!”. I don’t normally have such a self-defeating attitude when I’m rolling (or else I probably would have quit Jiu-Jitsu a long time ago!), and I felt ashamed about it on Monday, so I immediately started trying harder.

My reward for not giving up came later during class when I was free-rolling with another blue belt who usually sweeps and submits me just as often as Mike (which he’d already done earlier in the same roll), but towards the end I scored the extremely rare achievement of passing his guard, and I was especially pleased that I did it with the folding smash pass that I’ve recently been working on incorporating into my game! As soon as I had passed and established side control, the buzzer went off, but after trying and failing to pass his guard so many times before, the success was very sweet, and he gave me respect for getting the pass. I felt a little bit like Tom Hanks in Castaway when he finally makes fire, because I wanted to yell “Look what I have done!”.

"Every battle is won before it is fought." -Sun TzuIf I hadn’t ditched my losing attitude on Monday, and had continued wallowing in frustration and self-pity, I might have not even attempted that pass, so I’m glad I was able to get over it! Like the saying goes “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you are right.”

Know where I am going and I know what to do,
I’ve tidied up my point of view,
I’ve got a new attitude” -Patti LaBelle


2 comments on “New Attitude

  1. Try focusing on, *as* you are getting swept, using the momentum of the sweep for YOUR next move. See if there’s some way you can continue that sideways roll and get back on top. If not, at the very least, you can continue it for a quarter-turn and stuff your opponent’s shin between yours for half guard. I do that pretty much EVERY time I get swept, and it usually works. I go wholeheartedly with the roll of the sweep, even helping it along a bit…. but do a tiny but violent little hip pop as soon as my back hits the mat, to keep it going and propel me onto my side and bounce us both up a tad so I can grab that leg and shove it in. Then I’m in half guard and already on my side turned toward them, and can immediately start working my half-guard escape before they get established on top. (snatch that underhook too, while you’re at it…. sometimes you can do all this and be scooting out the back before he even realizes what is happening. He usually needs a second to try to catch his balance after your hip pop.)
    As long as you getting swept results in a defeating PLOP of you flat on your back on the bottom, with all the momentum grounding like a plane nosediving to earth, that’s hard to continue from both physically and mentally. It’s like the period at the end of the sentence. Don’t let it be the period, make it a comma, and be thinking about your continuation of movement WHILE you are getting swept.

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