3 tips to Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the struggle.

By Etienne Georges

I’ve recently had a big slump in my training. My motivation to train was not there, and I kept on telling myself that I would train the following day to make myself feel better. It was actually the first time I encountered such problem in my BJJ journey. Life can sometimes make it hard to reconcile your passions and to take care of your responsibilities/job. I have been studying BJJ at Gracie Barra Montreal for 6 years now and this beautiful journey is filled with ups and downs. I am fortunate enough to have made good friends in those 6 years, which I see on and off the mats, and have one of the greatest instructors in the world in Professor Bruno Fernandes.

I bring this up because beyond the techniques you learn and try to perfect during your years of training, you get help from these people. I can’t keep track of how many times I came back home after massive beatings thinking to myself “Why am I putting myself through this?”, “Am I really made for this?”, “I should quit” and “Damn I suck”. Chances are that if you have been doing BJJ for a couple of months, you know what I’m talking about. Considering all this, I have been reflecting on what you need to get back on track with your training and your resolve.

etienne georges bjj gracie barra montrreal

Make some friends where you train

I find it is a huge plus when you can confide in what you think, or how you feel towards the progression of your Jiu-Jitsu. When you feel like you are not alone sharing the struggle, it can give you that extra motivation to not let go and keep on rolling. Those same friends are the ones who will encourage you whenever they see or feel your discouragement. Keep in mind that the opposite is also possible, where you are the one sharing positive words and energy towards them. BJJ is a journey of self-discovery and to understand what you are made of, but you don’t have to do it alone.

 

Never lose sight of your initial goal

You probably started BJJ because of something. Whether it’s because you wanted to lose weight and get back in shape, become a black belt, be a world champion, meet and socialize with people or self defense. Outside the mats, you get a lot of distractions. We are constantly pushed towards instant gratification and it’s easy to lose sight of why we are still doing this. When you are thinking of quitting, ask yourself “Why did I start BJJ in the first place?”, and “Did I achieve my goal?”. You might realize that along the line you have achieved your initial goal but that you have given yourself a new one. Acknowledge your initial success, and dedicate yourself towards the new one.

 

Trust the process

Wherever you have a solid curriculum and dedicated instructors, you will improve. You are not the first and not the last to go on a BJJ journey, and over the years, your professor, coaches and academy have made better hundreds of students and have most certainly promoted several black belts. If they made it, so can you. A great academy will have a dedicated head instructor that is geared towards the achievements of your goals. Even without knowing your life story, your instructor should have a rough idea of why you are joined his/her academy to do BJJ because after all, you are not just a number.

To the unassuming eye, BJJ strictly shows you how to defend yourself but in reality, it’s so much more. So whenever your resolve is starting to break or you get lazy, please remember: Take the time to make some friends, trust the process, and never losing sight of your initial goal.

Yup, your journey will be long and hard but so rewarding. You have to tell yourself that time on the mats makes you better. Live to train and become better for today AND tomorrow. Ultimately time is the real issue. But keep in mind that you will always make time for the things you love.

 

Note: Etienne is an instructor at our school that overcomes a lot of challenges to keep his regular training schedule.

Sounds familiar? I hope his letter servers as a motivation for you to keep on going.