“Sometimes you don’t have to win. You cannot win.
But that has nothing to do with losing.” -Rickson Gracie
I was talking to one of my blue belt bros after the advanced class at Lincoln BJJ on Wednesday night, and he told me “I want to let you know that I have a lot of respect for you”, so I said “Thanks, but why?”, and he replied “Because when I come here and get murdered, I don’t want to come back, but you just keep going”. Well, it’s not like all I do is get beaten (at least not anymore, I even almost made The Barbarian tap on Wednesday!), and there have definitely been times when I didn’t want to come back, but I’ve realized that as long as I leave my ego out of it, then getting my ass kicked in BJJ is pretty much the same as me kicking ass, because I gain things either way. “There is no losing in Jiu-Jitsu. You either win or you learn”. -Carlos Gracie, Jr.
I appreciate that my BJJ bro respects me even though I suck (which is how my “negative filter” interpreted what he said on Wednesday ;), but whenever I’ve started to feel sorry for myself, I’ve thought about what Coach Amy told me that it was like for her when she began training Jiu-Jitsu at the dojo (before Conan was the instructor). She was the only woman, and it was kind of a rough crowd, so most of the guys would just submit her in less than fifteen seconds and be done with it, but instead of giving up, she made it her goal to last thirty seconds, then a minute, and so on.
“Every match was like you were fighting in the Mundials. New students would weep after training. If you didn’t win your sparring match, a belittling comment would ensue, something to the effect of, ‘I guess you didn’t want it bad enough'”. -Sir Conan
The level of me being annihilated has undoubtedly decreased through the years, but it’s not like I spend all of my time just trying to not lose, because that would seriously limit my growth. I’m really not into being better than anyone else, I just want to improve myself, so sometimes the best way to accomplish that is to jump in with the sharks, and I don’t particularly enjoy being on the bottom of the food chain, but since I’m at a physical disadvantage to everyone I roll with (due to any combination of age, size, and/or strength), I don’t expect that I’ll ever be on the top tier. Even if it’s inevitable that I’ll lose, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any value in fighting for as long as I can, so the only way I could actually fail at BJJ is if I quit, but I guess I’m just a “ride or die” kind of bitch.
“It’s not how good your Jiu-Jitsu is, but how good Jiu-Jitsu is for you.” -Caio Terra