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Am I Where I Should Be In This Journey?
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Am I Where I Should Be In This Journey?

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A question I have asked many times, and continue to ask myself often, am I where I should be in this journey?  

It seems to me in jiu jitsu, or in anything in life really, it’s natural to look at others and compare ourselves.  In jiu jitsu we see this a lot, specifically, the most obvious is the recently promoted blue belt who now thinks he should be immune to being tapped by all white belts, forever.  That’s just not accurate.

If your goal is to be the next world class competitor but you never compete, then the answer is simple, no.  If you’re a working professional with a family and tons of other responsibilities who does jiu jitsu as a hobby then it may be a little harder to determine if you are where you should be or not.  The point is we are all on a different course. How can we tell if we are on track or not?

Learn to connect half guard with pressure passing!  Click Learn More!

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First and foremost, we need to set goals.  You need to know the destination in order to know if you are on track or not.  What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to compete? Do you want to be the best (insert rank here) in your academy?  Do you simply want the confidence to defend yourself in a street fight should the need arise? Regardless of the goals I think it’s important to set the goals, write them down, and ensure you are looking at them regularly.  Reviewing goals and goal progress on a regular basis will help keep you focused and making choices that align with your goals and help keep you on course to reach them.

Once the goals are set, the next step in my opinion would be to review the goals with a trusted training partner or professor.  What you need to determine is are they realistic? If your goal is or was to get your black belt in 10 months but you’re only able to train 2 days a week, then your professor may need to adjust your expectations.  

Once the goals are in writing and you’ve discussed them with someone else, you now have someone that can hold you accountable and help you course correct. This person can help you when you’re feeling like you’re not on track.  This person can also be the one to help remind you of your goals, and what you need to do to realize those goals. It’s sometimes easier for an outsider looking in to see roadblocks, unrealistic expectations, or anything else that may prohibit you, or postpone your ability to reach your goals.

Combining Passing Attacks! Click Learn More below!

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At the end of the day this journey is yours. Sure, there are tons of ways you can compare yourself to others in our sport.  You can compete in local, regional, national or even global competitions. If your goal is to be the best there is, you’ll need to compete regularly to be able to prove that.  But ultimately the reality is the first, the last and the biggest opponent you face is you. What are you doing today to be better than you were yesterday? What are you doing today to reach your goal(s)?  Do you have a plan, and someone to help you stick to that plan so that you can measure your progress and stay the course?

Set stretch goals that seem slightly out of reach with small milestone celebrations along the way and fall in love with the process and trust that you are exactly where you should be.  

Are you ready for a new instructional from one of the fastest rising BJJ black belts Alexandre Vieira?  Known as the guy with the amazingly deadly loop choke, Alexandre is back with a new series that is guaranteed to change your game.  In his Linking Half Guard and Pressure Passing series, he's going to show you how these two important positions can be connected and make for a very effective game.  Check it out here at BJJ Fanatics!

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