In the minds of most people, including people who have never even tried a martial art, training in the martial arts represents a method for the development of the character.
Master Carlos Gracie Sr. said the following :
Where the weak become strong
Where the slow become fast
Where the novice become expert”
This has proven true for countless people from different walks of life who.have had their lives improved by jiu-jitsu.
Along with teaching the values of mutual respect, discipline, cooperation, jiu-jitsu can also teach us how to deal with failure.
One of the short comings of many motivational quotes is that they are high on inspiration but low on the specifics about how this is actually achieved.
Let’s take a closer look at one specific way that training jiu-jitsu helps the individual in their lives outside of the academy. Overcoming failure.
Prof. Flavor Almeida shares this message : “Any goal and any challenge you face will be littered with pitfalls, mistakes and failure. The true nature of your spirit and character will not be defined by your failures but by the way that you deal with them.”
Many martial artists say that the jiu-jitsu black belt is the hardest black belt to earn in all of the martial arts.
If we look at our ability to overcome discouragement as a type of “mental muscle”, we understand how training jiu-jitsu strengthens the mind and character. When confronted with an obstacle, we can concede defeat and accept the failure. Or…we can draw a deep breath, examine the situation, learn what went wrong and adjust our strategy. Each time we do this, we strengthen that mental muscle.
The truth of not only training jiu-jitsu but in life in general, is that we deal with failure more often than quick successes.How often do you attempt a sweep or submission (that you expected to work!) only to have your training partner shut you down completely? The answer of course is in the thousands!
The jiu-jitsu mind is not to accept the failure and give up. It is for the mind to quickly look for another different solution. Instead of lingering and lamenting the failure, you leave that behind and look for the next best solution.
Your ability to adopt this mindset of :
A) Not becoming discouraged by failures
B) Learning from what went wrong and making a correction to your efforts
will be essential to your success on and off the jiu-jitsu mat.
In this way, your problem solving mind and resilience against failure are strengthened in jiu-jitsu training.
See also on Gracie Barra : Different Reasons To Train Jiu-jitsu
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam