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The Long Haul - Sticking With BJJ Throughout Your Life
It is always said that jiu-jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes lots of time, lots of dedication, and lots of perseverance to stick with it over the years. There are many times where doubt and frustration will work it's way into your mind, and your love for the sport may waiver a bit. But, such is life, and we can overcome these negative feelings. Below are a few ideas to assist with sticking with jiu-jitsu for the long haul.
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Take Care Of Yourself
When we are young, we love to go hard, have intense rolls, and get after it. As the years continue on, the frequency of these rolls start to become less and less. This is ok, and is usually what we need. We need to take care of our bodies to be able to continue on our journeys. And this may mean backing down the overall intensity of our training. I am not saying that we need to avoid rolling altogether, but if our bodies are telling us to slow it down a bit, then we should probably listen.
Also, take care of yourself outside the gym. Get a proper amount of sleep/rest, eat a proper diet, and do light maintenance for your body, such as yoga or light weight training. This will allow your body to restore itself, and allow you to keep working on your jiu-jitsu on a regular basis.
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Keep Things Fresh
As we progress with our jiu-jitsu, we tend to develop our game and really refine what moves and techniques we do on the mats. This is fine, and is the natural progression of everyone’s jiu-jitsu. But, from time to time, this can feel stale and stagnant. When this hits, try something new. Try to work a new guard. Try some new submission set ups. Now, we are not saying to forget about your original game. Please still work on that. But, mix it up a little bit. Give that De La Riva guard a shot. Work on your leg lock game a little more. It keeps your mind working, keeps you engaged, and can make things fun again when they seem to get dull.
Just Keep Showing Up
It is said time and time again. Just keep showing up.If you have been doing jiu-jitsu for 10 days or 10 years, this is honestly the most important thing to be able to stick with jiu-jitsu. The days when the couch is looking mighty comfy, and you are really tired. Do yourself a favor and get one class in for the day. Tom DeBlass always says “When motivation fails, rely on discipline”. And that is 100% correct. Shut down the vices, grab your gi, and head out the door. Do you ever regret showing up to train? I would venture to say, usually never. We always have something to learn and something to work on when we head to the gym. So just show up!
Training jiu-jitsu is really the long haul. There are not many thing most of us will do in our lives that will rival the time that we spend training jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu is a life long journey, that will always have something to offer you. So, settle in for the long haul!
Keep things fresh by adding new elements to your BJJ game or shoring up the Fundamentals and Concepts that you need to be successful. Check out Travis Stevens' great resource Fundamentals and Concepts that will help deepen your understanding of jiu jitsu. You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!