Motivation For Jiu-jitsu

Show me a depressed person who displays little motivation in their life and I’ll show you a person without strong goals. Jiu-jitsu tends to attract goal oriented, positive personality types.  However, even the most positive among us must deal with obstacles and periods where our motivation to train dips.

It could be injuries, outside factors in our lives, or just feeling discouraged because of a temporary lack of progress.

Stuck In A Training Rut?

Some worlds on the importance of goals and motivation in your jiu-jitsu from the Gracie Barra ICP Program:

“You are a Gracie Barra Team Member.  Regardless of the role you play in our team, it is important for you to stay motivated.  As individuals we are all committed to lead a life of challenges, not of comfort, in pursuit of personal excellence through Jiu-Jitsu.  In our journey together, you will experience periods of frustration and lack of motivation and when that happens it is important for you to remember what you are learning here: goals are the breakfast of champions and you need to see them clearly to feel the motivation needed to keep moving forward.”

Joaquin Garay - 0K8A5386

Here are a few ideas that you can use when you experience a temporary lack of motivation.

1) Recognize that your mental state is temporary.

Everyone experiences ups and downs. Success is not a smooth, uninterrupted line going straight up. It is natural to feel periods of discouragement but remind yourself that these things are short lived and soon enough you recover your normal levels of motivation.

2) Have specific training goals

Do you think that Olympic athletes just show up at the training center everyday, scratch their heads and ask “So what do you want to do today?”
Of course not! They have specific skills that they are working to improve and have set specific goals to achieve them.
Example: Is your guard getting passed far too often? How about dedicating a month to doing drills for guard retention?
At the end of every class you partner drill your guard retention techniques and focus your energy in the area that will most improve your jiu-jitsu.
Example: There is a tournament coming up next month. Make a commitment with your best training partner to be at class 4 x per week and do at least 3 rounds of rolling each class.
There are few things like an upcoming tournament to light a fire under ones motivation! Ask yourself if you are just attending class without any specific purpose for improvement or do you have a clear training goal?

on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Partner Drills


3) Remind yourself of your purpose
I recall a simple quote that I heard once : “Motivation is just remembering what you REALLY want.”
So often we get distracted in life. We may lose sight of why we are doing some of our longer term endeavours.

“My mind’s never gone very far away from what I wanted to accomplish. Dan Gable

You must stay in touch with why you are doing jiu-jitsu. Learning a new skill, meeting positive friends, pushing your own limits, staying in shape and working towards that black belt. You have your own personal reasons why you train.

Always remember when you feel like showing up for class is an obligation “You don’t HAVE to do jiu-jitsu, you GET to do jiu-jitsu!” We don’t always have the luxury of the free time to go to the academy. Appreciate it when you are injury free and can go to class.

“If you are a Gracie Barra student, athlete, coach, professor, or school owner you have dreams about yourself and your team. Those dreams keep you going and motivate you. They become goals that bring purpose and excitement into your life.” Gracie Barra ICP


Credits: Mark Mullen 
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ