Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a Virtue

We have all heard that saying before but have we ever thought about applying that to our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?  Patience can carry a bjj practitioner farther than they ever thought possible; patience is what differentiates the best from the regular ones.  But how?  Patience is a necessity in so many aspects of bjj, you need patience when training and realize that things are about the journey and not the destination; patience will also help with technique.

Patience is necessary to achieve the next belt level and to be the last one on the mat.  It applies to our method of training bjj, and our longevity but we also need patience when doing techniques.  Patience is what differentiates the elite.  They know that if they are patient their time will come and they can hit their moves.  This is what is necessary when practicing bjj.  Patience will allow you to have timing and timing is very important when performing techniques.  

Patience with Technique

In Jiu Jitsu there are so many techniques to learn, there are so many positions that one person can choose to adapt to their game and this can complicate things.  Many of us will learn the same techniques and many of us will try and look to better grapplers to see what they are doing.  The thing with techniques is that when you are doing them people may know the same techniques.  For example, if someone is watching 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria competes and learning his techniques they will realize that his game is very simple and basic.  He plays a half guard, and like the over under pass.  So anybody could theoretically learn Bernardo’s techniques by watching his DVD’s.  So what does this have to do with patience?  Well, if people are learning his techniques, why are they not able to win and use them as successfully?  Well this is because Bernardo possesses something that cannot be taught and that is patience, this patience leads to timing; Bernardo has perfect timing which leads to perfect timing.  Bernardo has infamously said that a technique with 100% of the details right may fail because of the lack of timing but a technique with 70% of the details right may work because of timing. Patience is essential to develop timing.  Check out this video below where Bernardo talks about patience.

So how do we implement patience?  Well, if you are doing a technique, for instance, a half guard sweep with an under hook get up, you want to be patient.  If someone is trying to hold you down in half guard and you are constantly going against their energy and trying to get up you are going to expend a lot of energy.  You will lack the patience and become overly aggressive, eventually you will tire and you will begin to suffer.  If you took a different approach and waited for the right time to strike, you would be able to use patience and timing to your advantage.  For example, if your opponent has held you down and you are not resistant, they may begin to initiate more passing, so they may go for a knee slice, when they go for the knee slice they will have alleviated the pressure from you and you would then be able to effortlessly use your under hook to get up from half guard and start to sweep them. 

This is called timing.  Timing comes from patience.  You don’t want to be overly aggressive and expend so much energy trying to do something.  This concept applies to every aspect of Jiu Jitsu technique, passing, guard, and stand up, control, submissions and more.  If you are trying to get a submission and constantly forcing it, you may waste energy and ultimately not get the submission.  If you are patient and wait for your opponent to expose something you may be able to get a submission more effortlessly.  There are times to force things but even then you would have to use patience.  Patience is most important concept as we progress and advance in our bjj.

Patience for Longevity

Patience may also be the single most important characteristic necessary to progress and reach the black belt level in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Jiu Jitsu is extremely difficult and some people have problems accepting the fact that it is so hard.  The learning curve is the most difficult out of any martial art and this creates an enormous drop out rate. The drop out rate in bjj is absolutely ridiculous. So many people quit Jiu Jitsu, some quit at white, blue, purple, and even brown.  You never know when someone is going to quit.

The thing with bjj is that it is about micro progressions, if you come into bjj and start to think you are going to progress at a rapid rate, you are wrong.  BJJ is all about setting small attainable goals and being happy that you have met or even tried to meet these goals.  So what does this mean?  If you get your blue belt, don’t think that you’re going to make your goal to tap out every black belt at the academy or even blue belt.  Make your goal to simply hit a knee slide on all the lower belts that week.  This is a micro progression and something that you can be proud of.  You cannot go into bjj with your goal being to reach black belt, this is not about the destination it is about the journey.    You have to be patient, patience is truly a virtue.

There is an old saying in Jiu Jitsu that it is not who is the best, it is who is left.  This is so true.  It is more important to just keep training, that is what will make you the best version of yourself, all to often people are rushing things and this is not something to rush.  There is no such thing as perfection in bjj so don’t go looking for perfection.

If you want to develop your patience and learn a game that is simple and easy to implement check out Chris Haueters 4 DVD set “Old School Efficient BJJ.”  This is the perfect dvd for anybody that wants to learn simple and effective bjj.  Chris is one of the first American black belts, he was promoted to black belt in 1996 and has been training and studying ever since.  He is one of the original gangsters of bjj.  Chris is not only one of the best practitioners, but he is one of the most sought after instructors in the world.  Chris has an excellent way of breaking down technique and making it easy to learn.