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How Far Will Motivation Get You In BJJ?

How Far Will Motivation Get You In BJJ?


Understanding the Difference Between Motivation and Discipline is Key to Your Success

The internet and social media are filled with motivation memes.  It's like you can't scroll through Facebook or Instagram without seeing photos of lions, mountains, and shirtless athletes with less than 0% body fat coupled with motivational quotes.

At the end of the day, these memes could possibly spark some action, but can they sustain the action when the going gets tough?  Probably not.

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A motivational meme might inspire you to research your local BJJ academies.  It may even get you to give them a call or shoot them a message.

The motivational meme with the lion and the Joe Paterno quote might even get you to walk in the door of the academy for your first class.  But where will you be when you're driving home exhausted, having been tapped what seems like 100 times during the evening?  Will that same meme get you back for your next class after a tough session.  Probably not.

That's where DISCIPLINE comes into play.  Where motivation is the spark that potentially can start the fire, discipline is the fuel that will keep the fire going.

Motivation is fleeting.  Discipline shows up everyday, without fail.  Motivation comes from outside of us.  Discipline must come from within.

In his latest release from BJJ Fanatics, The Road to Black Belt and Beyond, Tom DeBlass talks about the nature of motivation and how discipline must be cultivated in order to make it on the long road to black belt.  Check out this exclusive excerpt from the special Ebook that comes along with the series!

Excerpt from Tom DeBlass' The Road to Black Belt and Beyond Ebook



Understanding the relationship between discipline and motivation, as well as the distinct differences between the two is crucial to one’s success on the Road to Black Belt.  Of the two, motivation is definitely the sexier of the pair.  The business of motivation is large and the world is full of sources claiming to provide it and to offer an almost endless supply of motivation quotes and memes to get you through everything that life can throw your way.


The easiest way to think about motivation versus discipline is to realize that motivation is typically extrinsic.  When we see someone’s weight loss success or see someone win gold at a BJJ tournament, we may become inspired or MOTIVATED to shoot for a similar goal.  Discipline on the other hand comes from within, deep inside ourselves and is there when the spotlight fades and the inspiration disappears.


Motivation comes in the form of New Year’s Day.  It comes in the form of the “first day of the month” or that arbitrary “next Monday” when you plan to get your life in order and get started on the road to your dreams.  Discipline is here now.  Waiting.  Quietly.  Discipline is doing what you need to do to reach your goals or dreams even when no one is watching and you don’t really feel motivated to do it.


Motivation can be a dangerous trap because if everyone waited until they were motivated to work for something, much less would be achieved.  Motivation is hitting the gym hard on New Years Day.  Discipline is hitting the gym just as hard months later when most people have drifted off to something else.


Motivation is training hard every day the day after you receive a new belt promotion.


Discipline, on the other hand, is training just as hard 2 years into that blue or purple belt, sometimes feeling like you’re not really progressing and showing up anyway, again and again.


The Road to Black Belt is paved by discipline. Motivation is nothing more than the occasional friendly billboard on the side of the road that gives you some encouragement, but is gone in a flash as you grind past on your way to your goal with the only tool that matters, discipline."


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Tom’s Takeaways


Today is the day to start.  Whatever your goal or dream is.  Don’t wait.


Do the things you know you are supposed to do.  Don’t wait until you feel like it.


No one is motivated 365 days a year.  But everyone can be disciplined 365 days a year.

 Now that you see that motivation might get you started, but it is not guaranteed to keep you on the road without constant discipline--it's time to take the next steps.

Now it's time to give yourself the tools that will help you develop the discipline you need to make it all the way to black belt and beyond.  Get your copy of Tom DeBlass' latest series here!



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