I think an essential component of Jiu-Jitsu is about control, and not just the obvious of controlling your opponent, but yourself as well. You have to be able to control your own emotions, thoughts, breathing, energy expenditure, usage of strength, and of course, your ego.
I will admit that I am a bit of a control freak myself, but I believe that is actually one of the reasons I continued doing Jiu-Jitsu back in the beginning, when I still mostly hated it. When I first started rolling, I didn’t feel like I was in control of anything, which I found to be rather bothersome, so even though it was incredibly difficult for me, I felt like I couldn’t stop training until I had achieved a satisfactory level of control over what was happening.
Now after many years of rolling, it’s been a very long time since I felt completely out of control, because my ability to control myself and others has greatly increased, and at the same time, my need to be in control has significantly decreased. It’s gotten to the point where I believe that no matter how long I train, no matter what rank I achieve, I will never be able to be in control of everything that happens, and I’m perfectly okay with that. When I surrendered my desire to be in control, it was very freeing, and rolling became a lot more enjoyable for me, which is when I truly began to love Jiu-Jitsu (even though I still basically sucked at it! ;).
Tumbleweed once said that he believes smaller BJJ practitioners are usually able to overcome their ego issues sooner than the average student, because our complete lack of ability to control anything that’s happening in the beginning of our training allows us to just accept things for how they are, instead of how we want them to be. In my experience, to truly gain control in Jiu-Jitsu, first you have to be able to let it go.
“I don’t wanna rule the world,
Just wanna run my life.” -Janet Jackson