“There is no losing, there is only learning” sounds great. In reality it feels horrible to learn this way. Shame, embarrassment, disappointment, regret, surprise, anger and on and on. Those are the real feelings that flow through the mind when you lose Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) matches. “I let my school down”. “I let my family and friends watching me down”. “I know I’m better than this!”, “Why do I do this?”…so many thoughts. The mind replays every second of each match, the opportunities not capitalized on, the level of the preparation you did or didn’t do, of the food and beverage choices the day before, and more. GOOD. Let the mind process. Then stop it and focus on your family and friends that supported you instead of being grumpy in their presence after your losses.
Did you step in the arena 99% of society will never step into? Win. Did you learn the weak spots in your game? Win. Did you get more indoctrination into the fear, anxiety and physical weakness experienced in your first competitions? Win. Did you catch up with old training partners and through the trial of Jiu Jitsu make new friends? Big Win. This is the beauty of BJJ. You can be friends before, opposing forces during, then friends again after the match.
In September I will have been training in BJJ for a year. During that time I’ve met some of the nicest and most dangerous people around. There is a welcoming to those that choose to “step into the arena” of a BJJ school. People from all walks of life leave politics, religion and other topics that tend to divide folks outside the gym doors. On the mat rolling and when learning moves from instructors there is only the ability to focus on what’s happening in front of you. It provides a therapeutic clarity and bonding experience that is hard to relay to folks that have never tried a class.
So I will continue to learn. To condition my mind and body. To prepare better. To face fear, accept it and adapt to it. Thank you to my family, friends, coaches, training partners and anyone else that’s influenced me, win or learn, throughout my time in BJJ.
#BJJ #BrazilianJiuJitsu #JiuJitsu #Competition #Loss #Learning #Tournaments
Kevin Pannell, PMP, PSC3, NREMT
Host of Between the Slides podcast