This December will mark 3 full years for myself at blue belt.
In just that time since getting I’ve trained at many gyms, spent a lot of time wrestling and striking, and have seen people come, go, come back, and go again.
For me, jiu jitsu really changed in the past year, and even more so in the past 6 months…
It takes some time to realize this, and I may get flak, but I think a big reason people quit is because they realize THERE IS NO POINT TO BJJ.
But… but… but…
Let me explain.
When we first start BJJ, it can almost seem like a superpower. Coming from a non-martial arts background, having a smaller guy or girl maul you while your helplessly drown is eye opening.
It can seem like choking someone out/being able to “kick someone’s ass” is an end in of itself, and that if I can just get gold in tournament, win an MMA fight, or submit a certain individual… then I’ll be… idk… “there”?.. “happy”?.. something.
It dawned on me over the last year that BJJ is really about falling in love with the PROCESS. The outcome… whether its gold in tourney, a cage fight victory, or just having other tough dudes give you respect… these are but brief fleeting moments.
I’ve learned to savor every repetition and detail of a drill or sequence. To let go of the outcome in rolling, and just enjoy the physical process of training and doing jiu jitsu, from the warm up drills to the competition matches.
I can honestly say that in my third year of blue belt, I’ve NEVER been more in love with jiu jitsu.
Since this mindset change happened (it wasn’t forced, btw), I’ve exponentially grown on and off the mats. In addition, I’ve gotten more gold medals in tournaments than I ever did when I took it “seriously” as far as competing.
In fact, my last competition, I was almost disappointed by how NOT nervous I was, it was pure detachment from the outcome. I tried to win, and I did, but my favorite aspect was being able to engage with a stranger in the physical language of jiu jitsu, and bro out about it immediately afterwards.
I am sure going forward that my perception of jiu jitsu and its role in my life will continue to evolve, however the more detached I am from any outcome on the mats, the more I enjoy BJJ and to be honest, the better I end up doing in rolls and competition.