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Stay Humble and Take your Ability to Learn to the Next Level.
I took my children to their swimming lesson a few days ago. We were all sitting on the bench waiting for their class to begin. One of the more experienced swim instructors was an older gentleman. It seemed he’d been a life guard for many years. He had the look of a very seasoned veteran of the swim world. He looked at me, looked at my children, and calmly said, “If one of them was drowning do you think you’d be able to save them?” I was caught off guard by it. My first thought was, yes of course. But before I said anything, I thought for a moment and then answered, “Well I guess I don’t know.” He proceeded to rattle off several factors that I would have never thought of about that particular situation. Things I would have never even considered. I learned a lot in those 5 minutes before class. Why? Because I was able to put aside what I thought I might know for a moment and listen to someone who actually knew.
Humans. We think we know. Everyone feels compelled to be the expert. But nothing may hold you back more than this tired approach to life we so often encounter.
Staying humble and keeping an open mind will deliver some of the world’s greatest treasures. This ideal couldn’t be more relevant in BJJ.
I’ve never once uttered the words or made any statement to the effect of, “I’m really good at jiu-jitsu.” Why not? Well, the answer is simple. I’m not good at it. Yes, I’ve been at it for better than a decade. Surely, I have achieved some level of proficiency to be proud of, of course. But the notion that I’m now “good” at BJJ doesn’t enter my mind. To me, this implies an end. I’ve reached a pinnacle, and this will never be the case. There is no end; there’s only the journey.
After 10 plus years of practicing, I’m still overjoyed to attend a class or seminar, and I revel in the delight of learning. This is because I keep my mind open, and I’m always willing to let BJJ open another door and show me there might be a better way.
If your thirst for being good at BJJ is never quenched, you will always seek better. There will always be a notion that propels you forward. You will always come back. Don’t miss out on a good chance to listen and be the student. You may collect a life changing piece of information or an elusive answer for which you’ve been searching. Stay humble.
If you're like most BJJ practitioners, your take downs need some work. Keep an open mind and check out Jimmy Pedro and Travis Stevens' "Takedown Blueprint" from BJJ Fanatics.