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Success Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
Exploring the adage…
There is an adage in sports as well as in life, “Success begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Is there an application of this quote for Jiu Jitsu?
There are many reasons why success in Jiu Jitsu is at the end of our comfort zone. First, it applies to those just starting Jiu Jitsu. The thought of training Jiu Jitsu can be an extremely intimidating. You will experience pain. As a beginner, you will have to face over and over again the fact that you know nothing. As you progress, you will still face continual lessons in humility. Maybe even the idea of being in close physical contact to another person is disconcerting. There are a million reasons why not to start the Jiu Jitsu journey. It is definitely the end of a lot of people’s comfort zone.
Even those getting back into Jiu Jitsu may also be afraid to leaving their comfort zones. Perhaps, you are afraid of finding people that you use to destroy now dominating you. Perhaps you are afraid to see how much your technique has regressed. Perhaps, Jiu Jitsu has evolved and you are afraid to face what Jiu Jitsu looks like now. Or maybe spending the time on the mat to redevelop stamina is disconcerting. Whatever the reason, the couch is far more comfortable than the mats.
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For those of us that train, the comfort zone can look different. Perhaps we are afraid of expanding our game because we are afraid of failure. If I want to work on positions that I am weaker with I may not be as dominate in my rolls. Perhaps people who I normally catch now escape. Measuring the progress of my Jiu Jitsu against how many taps I collect today is a false standard. We may also duck rolling with people we feel can embarrass us. Someone of a lower belt may have some sweeps or whatever that you have not seen before. Do we strive to save face and avoid someone who potential could embarrass us? Another example of being uncomfortable may be from transitioning to Gi to Nogi or vice versa. If you train primarily with the gi or in nogi, it may be disconcerting to go back to what you feel as a beginner level. The goal of the training room should always be to learn. If I measure my success by who I can tap out today it may limit the size of my game tomorrow.
Jiu Jitsu is not a comfortable sport. Practitioners experience a lot of injuries. Even beyond that, a lot of positions range from uncomfortable at best to pain compliance at worst. It is an art that is structured to give pain and discomfort. However it is also a beautiful journey. Unless we are willing to pay the price of discomfort we will never experience that journey. It is also true that unless we are willing to continue paying the price of discomfort our journey will become limited and stagnant. Discomfort in Jiu Jitsu can range from physical pain to our ego suffering. However, this discomfort is the catalyst to our growth. Jiu Jitsu begins at the end of our comfort zone.
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