Patience. Is It Your Friend or Foe?
Patience. You know the word, and you know what it means. It’s a part of everyone’s vocabulary. Do you possess it naturally? Is it a quality that eludes you? How long are you willing to wait for results? What kind of BJJ progress do you expect to make compared to the time you put in? Are you being realistic?
My 4-year-old son was able to fish with me this year for the first time on our family vacation in Canada. He was able to cast his line out, catch a fish and reel it in, and, with a little assistance from dad, release the fish. After a particularly active first day on the water, the second day wasn’t yielding the same amount of amusement. I could see his focus starting to lessen, and his interest starting to wane. Thinking this would be a great teaching moment, I looked at him, and I asked him if he knew what patience was. I was expecting to educate him with a lesson on the subject. Instead he looked right at me and said, “patience is when you have to wait for something you want.”
What is your attitude like when you have a less than satisfying day on the mats? Does your interest begin to diminish? Do you take a few days off and revel in your disdain for the poor training session, or do you get back at it the next day, leaving the frustrations of the previous experience behind? When BJJ teaches you a lesson, do you listen, or turn your back?
The first time Professor Tom DeBlass came to my academy, he briefly spoke about this subject. He said something that made me scramble to find my notebook to make sure I’d never forget it. He said, “great jiu-jitsu is reserved for those who deserve it.” I fell in love with the words instantly. There are literally thousands of quotes that pertain to BJJ. This one is my favorite. It’s my favorite simply because it’s so real. Think about it. The level of jiu-jitsu proficiency we desire is protected by jiu-jitsu itself. For most, It’s not attainable in a short period of time. For many it takes years to become a solid BJJ practitioner. The gifts of BJJ aren’t available to those that aren’t willing to sacrifice for them. Great jiu-jitsu will keep itself from you, until you’re ready to receive it.
The theme is simple. Make room for jiu-jitsu, and it will make room for you. If you keep it in your life in some capacity, you will always be in it’s good graces. If you falter, fix it. BJJ will let you back into the process.
Don’t fall into the trap of expecting overnight success. If your expectations are higher than the amount of time you’re willing to donate to BJJ, you will always be disappointed. BJJ tends to dole out its rewards over longer periods of time. You may commonly notice your most satisfying results at 6 month or even yearly intervals. This is what makes BJJ so exciting. Every leap you make is yours, no one can take it from you. Take pride in the time you spend on perfecting your craft. You’re part of a very small group of humans willing to extend themselves to see what they’re capable of. Don’t squander this amazing opportunity to grow because you aren’t willing to “wait for something that you want.”
Be patient. It’s worth it.
Developing a great half guard requires patience and effort. Tom DeBlass has spent close to two decades perfecting his half guard game. In his best-selling "Half Domination" series, he shares his secrets that can save you from 20 years of trial and error. Check it out today here at BJJ Fanatics!