GB Values: Consistency and Dedication

I saw this photo on a post on the Gracie Barra Instagram account the other day with the simple caption “Consistencia E Dedicacao”.
The image is of 60+ years old Master Carlos Gracie Jr. enjoying a roll with a student and training partner at the GB school.
The caption reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Master Carlos:
“Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all I have attained in my life.
Things have never happened overnight. Results have appeared as a consequence of decades long toil. It is necessary to persist.”
This advice is not a popular sentiment in a modern world that promises “Six pack Abs in 30 days” and a media rich in claims of making a pile of money overnight. Where success in life can be achieved quickly and painlessly if you just follow some type of hack or secret shortcut.
Yet most of us know deep down (and are reminded of daily in Jiu-Jitsu) that the valuable things in life do not come fast or easily. Any worthwhile accomplishment in our lives comes from applied effort over a sustained period of time.
Dedication and consistency in Jiu-Jitsu is about first deciding that we really want to enjoy Jiu-Jitsu as a part of our lives. The love of being in the GB school with our friends and training partners. The desire to challenge ourselves to be the best possible version of ourselves through training Jiu-Jitsu.
When you love the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle, you make a decision to align your choices in all areas of your life with health and fitness and positive mental attitude. Your approach is not a brief flurry of activity while motivation is high, only to peter out as soon as the first plateau comes along.
Instead, we form habits that support our Jiu-Jitsu training specifically and a healthy lifestyle overall. Making everyday choices to eat well and have a positive, proactive philosophy. That is where the consistency and dedication come in.
To achieve the Jiu-Jitsu black belt isn’t a matter of natural athletic talent, it isn’t about brief periods of intense training, it isn’t just about competition medals. If you talk with GB black belts you will hear stories of many obstacles overcome. Perseverance through the challenges that life gives all of us. Periods of injury, progress plateaus and set backs. Yet, these challenges were met by grabbing their gym bag and heading off to class over a period of years.
In this way we can look at Jiu-Jitsu as a training for life. Through the vehicle of Jiu-Jitsu, we learn that our goals and dreams in life can be achieved by patient, applied effort over a long period of time. We enjoy the process along the way – we enjoy “sweating a gi” and improving our skills incrementally. Sure, it is enjoyable to get a belt promotion from your professor, but to most students who love Jiu-Jitsu, the belt is a by product of their love of being at the GB school and of their dedication and consistency over time.
One of the main reasons that a new belt promotion means so much to Jiu-Jitsu students is that there is only one way to achieve it : through the dedication of effort applied consistently over time and dealing with challenges along the way. And this is a key part to our satisfaction in the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle and overall life satisfaction.
See also on Gracie Barra : Life’s Challenges – Jiu-Jitsu Helps Off The Mat
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia