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The Importance of Loss for Tom DeBlass
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an amazing physical activity that can offer endless benefits to all practitioners regardless of age, gender or physical attributes. But make no mistakes about it, the core of jiu jitsu is in the arena of self defense. BJJ is one of the world's most effective martial arts and the roots of martial arts grew from the soil of the battle fields of combat history.
Though most of us who train BJJ thankfully are never put into a position where we must utilize our knowledge and techniques to defend ourselves in a self defense or life and death combat scenario, we can in fact partake in jiu jitsu competitions which for brief moments and on a much lower stake stage, allow us to test our abilities.
Competition can be an amazing outlet and extension of the jiu jitsu training. It becomes another completely different skill set that one can learn and become ever more proficient at. But it is important to be prepared because although the stakes are not as high as the battle ground or life and death scenarios, there is still a high price to pay when you factor in the potential ego blow if you do not come out on the top position on the podium at the end of your competition.
With the nature of competition, there are the competitors who are victorious and the much larger number who are not. There is a common cliche shared on social media and on motivational posters that pop up every now and again. That cliche is as follows:
There is no such thing as losing in jiu jitsu. You either win or your learn.
Long time jiu jitsu black belt competitor on some of the most respected competitive stages on the planet, most notably ADCC, IBJJF and the UFC Octagon, Tom DeBlass recently took his large social media following to task. He is someone who is followed by over 50,000 people on Facebook alone, so his points resonate across the BJJ community. He implored the community to please STOP thinking that there is no such thing as LOSS in BJJ competition. He goes on to say:
"What kind of warped world are you living in if you truly believe this? How about in other aspects of life, is there such thing as losing? Everyone that has competed long enough in jiu jitsu will taste defeat, and it SUCKS."
For DeBlass, life has been a constant battle against adversity and struggle. He has developed an unflagging discipline because of the challenges he has faced. To better understand how Tom DeBlass has been able to counter pressure in both life and competition, check out this article on him from BJJ Fanatics here.
Jiu Jitsu competition for DeBlass is an extension of his passion for training. A natural progression and like the challenges he has faced in life, the battles on the mat become indicative of the character forged on the training mats. By avoiding the idea of loss, by subscribing to the cliche that there is no losing in jiu jitsu, a competitor is selling themselves short.
"If you are a competitor and don't have the guts to look at yourself in the mirror after a loss and say 'I lost', you will never reach your full potential."
Learn more about Tom DeBlass in this amazing video by Samuel Rivera.
"You should be learning everytime you step on the mats. Whether it be training, competing, winning or losing. However, there are damn sure winners and damn sure losers every single competition, this is called LIFE."
Loss does not define you as a person or as a competitor. How you deal with that loss is far more important than the loss itself in the grand scheme of your competitive career whether you are a world-class athlete or the average recreational practitioner. The beauty is that both the world class competitor and the average grow are presented the same opportunity to for growth and development whenever faced with the idea or reality of losing. It is something we all must face and in that adversity, one has the opportunity to become the true winner at life.