The All Or Nothing Mentality
“Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all 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.”
Carlos Gracie Jr.
Do you have a training partner who has an “All or nothing” mentality when it comes to training BJJ?
For example : The guy is either training 2 x day / 7 days per week OR has gone completely absent from the academy for weeks if not months at a time.
Some of these guys seem to be in a perpetual state of “getting back into it” and trying to regain a previous level after a prolonged layoff.
Unfortunately, they encounter discouragement when training partners who they “used to beat” have now improved and turned the tables. This can be tough on the ego!
Another form of discouragement is that their timing and cardio are not what they remember and they fatigue quickly in matches. As Saulo Ribeiro says “If you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength, you tire. And if you tire, you die.”
They used to roll for 5 X 5 minutes rounds and now the gas tank emptied after a single round! What is the point of even training? You feel like you lost all of your skills!
If you have ever returned to training after a few months off you will recognize this phenomena all too well.
Frustration sets in and after another spurt of training, they once again are absent from the academy.
An adjustment in attitude could in fact make a big difference. Looking at your involvement in jiu-jitsu as part of your lifestyle and as an activity that you would like to maintain is a better approach. Look back at previous year’s class photos and you will remember some guys who appeared to have great potential for jiu-jitsu but fell off for some reason.
Many less talented students had a slow and steady approach and through accumulation of sustained effort ended up developing some serious skills.
These slow and steady types likely had periods of their lives where a regular training was interrupted because “life happened” and other areas of their lives had to take priority. It happens to all of us.
The difference is taking a longer term view of your BJJ and accepting that it is ok to just maintain your training at times. Its ok if you aren’t training at 100% for a while. At least if you come once or twice a week, your head stays in jiu-jitsu and you maintain your habits and motivation.
Longevity in jiu-jitsu requires us to accept that our training schedules will not always be optimal and that our ultimate success will come from longer periods of consistent effort as opposed to short bursts of enthusiasm.
Don’t be the all or nothing guy who loses the benefits of jiu-jitsu when he could have stayed in jiu-jitsu with an adjustment of the attitude.
See also on Gracie Barra : Different Reasons To Train Jiu-jitsu
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam