When You Get Really Good At Something As Difficult As Jiu Jitsu, It Makes Everything In Your Life Better...
Exploring the quote...
Joe Rogan famously said, “When you get really good at something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu, it makes everything in your life better. “ I don’t think anyone who has spent significant time on the mats would doubt the veracity of Joe’s statement. However, let’s spend a few moments exploring why it is true.
Jiu Jitsu turns the non-nerds into nerds. Since I have been training Jiu Jitsu, I have become interested in the best way to learn things. I read books like The Talent Code. I draw elaborate mind maps for Jiu Jitsu systems. I try to figure out one key lesson learned from every class. If I go to a seminar, I skip the photo opportunity to jot down as many notes as I can remember. Jiu Jitsu is extremely difficult to learn. I know some people show up to class, roll a few times, then leave. However, a lot of us become serious students of this gentle but destructive art. Without a doubt, my life as a student would have been significantly better if I had found Jiu Jitsu when I was in school. The effort that it takes to learn something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu would have translated well into my other academic pursuits. It would have paid dividends. Or put another way, the nerdiness necessary to be successful on the mats have made me a better nerd off the mat.
A second way training something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu makes the rest of our lives better is in regard to our egos. Jiu Jitsu forces us to conquer our ego. Eddie Bravo said, “The only guys that make it through are the guys that have a complete control of their ego where they tap out in the beginning, all the time…” If you do not have control of your ego, you will never make it to black belt. Beyond that, ego can stop our journey before it even begins. If we fail to tap, it can mean being choked out or catastrophic damage to our body. Technique should also serve as a restraint on the ego. We learn that no matter how far and deep we perceive our expertise to be, there are always deeper levels to go. If you have been grappling for a day or a lifetime, there is something to be learned. When we replace that ego with humility, we keep asking questions. We keep learning. Humility should permeate every aspect of the training room. When we master our ego and learn humility, it keeps us in the game; not only in Jiu Jitsu but also in life. We keep learning and keep asking questions.
A third way that learning something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu pays dividends in life is the constant adversity. You develop mental toughness to know that you will face shoulder pressure, knee on belly, being deprived of oxygen and whatever else. Facing adversity consistently on the mat makes it a little bit easier when we face it off the mat. This is true if the adversity is with a tight budget or sick loved one or whatever life throws at you.
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A fourth component in the value of learning something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu is truth. On the mats, only through hard work will you find truth. You will find truth in how good you are, how to refine your technique and become better. There are very few places in the world that have the same level of honesty as the mats. The truth of the mat does not only relate to your submission skill set but also who you are when faced with challenges and pain. It gives you confidence and courage to seek the right answer even if they are difficult to face.
It is a beautiful statement that Joe Rogan said, “When you get really good at something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu, it makes everything in your life better. “ Jiu Jitsu refines the way we think and learn. It divorces us from our ego. It refines our strength in the face of adversity. It shows us that often time truth can only be found through hard work. Ultimately, learning something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu makes us more capable than we ever imagined possible.
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