Manifestation Of Secondary Ego In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
A Sometimes Overlooked Side Of Ego In BJJ…
A lot of people take a lot of time to talk about getting rid of your ego when you start your jiu-jitsu training. We have all seen it tons of time. The young, strong, fast, athletic 18 year old kid comes in to train. His huge ego takes over, and he thinks that he is going to rule the roost. Then he gets twisted into a pretzel when he tries to go after one of the blue belts. This is the typical ego that we all see and know, and it is the most predominant form of ego that exists in the world of jiu-jitsu.
I think that form of initial ego is present in everyone who starts in jiu-jitsu. It may be in greater amounts from one person to the other, and it may manifest itself in different ways. Some people stick around and just want to try to kill people, and eventually stop showing up. Some people can't take the self-perceived “humiliation”, and stop showing up. And then, some others get over it, begin to understand the process, and continue on to great things in their jiu-jitsu training.
But, I wanted to shed some light on a form of ego that I just recently came across, and have began to talk about. The manifestation of ego that is generated as you begin to train jiu-jitsu more and more. I like to call this “secondary ego”.
You come in to start jiu-jitsu classes, and you know absolutely nothing. You are confused, you can not think of any moves when you get to roll with other people. You do not understand how you need to move your body, and you get submitted 99/100 times you roll. The list goes on an on. You get discouraged, and here is the first battle with ego in your training. You make peace with this and continue your training, and begin to get better. In time, you start to remember some stuff. And you start moving that body correctly. And you start to submit people more. Then you submit a blue belt. Then you may submit a purple belt. You start getting promoted. Maybe you do well in a competition. And this is the time where new feelings begin to take over. Feelings of power, maybe some feelings of invincibility. Your head starts to get big, and this new form of ego begins to set in. This is the manifestation of secondary ego in your jiu-jitsu training.
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There are many things going on here. Maybe you cannot face the fact that you are not better than everyone, always. Maybe you just feel hurt because you decided to dedicate so much time to this sport, just to come in and get destroyed. And maybe you don't feel like any of these things are supposed to happen because you are progressing and getting better. Or, maybe you just do not want to feel like you did when you started training, getting smashed and beat up all the time. You are over those days, and you just want them to be in the past.
Guess what? No feelings are in the past. You are not special, and this happens to every single person that trains jiu-jitsu.
I am convinced that BJJ is a super power. It is a powerful, efficient, and beautiful art that allows you to defend yourself, and give you the ability to control and submit another human being. That is a power thing, and your thoughts and feeling on attaining these abilities can lead you down a path of feeling invincible, and powerful. But, understand that this is a false sense, and is actually a manifestation of hubris, and a huge detriment to your progression. You can begin to alienate people, and we all need each other to make this whole jiu-jitsu thing work. You will begin to lose friends, stifle your progression, and eventually, maybe even stop making your way to the mats.
We have to know that we are not invincible, and we never want to be invincible. When you are not tapping or getting smashed, you are not learning. Everyday is a new day, and a new chance to learn, submit people, be submitted by people, take risks, and most importantly, have fun and be with our friends. Take each training session as a new, and do not expect anything when you head to the mats. Take the days as they come, learn, and have fun.
Do not get swept up in your own progress and do not let your mind run to bad places. Remember, you are nothing, and this is just jiu-jitsu.