As an avid competitor, I know for myself, sometimes, that I forget why I started Jiu Jitsu. We put our focus into our mental preparation for tournaments, supplemental training, dieting, etc. Then, when competition comes, we may beat ourselves up for a less than spectacular performance. We may fail to see the beauty in competing at all. Questioning ourselves on why we started jiu jitsu in the first place.
Or maybe, we start seeing promotions being handed out to others when we think we should deserve one, too. Or, maybe it’s a little simpler than that, it’s just not fun for us anymore.
It is important to remember your why, why you started. It will bring back the carefree feeling when you first started. It will release the stress you might be feeling from the pressure of doing well at the next tournament or excelling faster. Everyone is a white belt when they start, so expectations are few. You are learning techniques left and right and building your basics; you feel great! However, they say a black belt is when the real journey begins, so maybe, a black belt just means you’ve mastered the basics, and you continue learning just like you did at white belt? So, why do we forget the why on the way?
I can only think that most people’s why is self-improvement, whether it’s self-defense aspect, fitness aspect, or just learning something new. And, as BJJ is often known as the ego killer, you must drop the ego in order to self improve. But with self-confidence of getting better, the ego can grow. The ego is what makes it so hard to deal with a loss, or comparing our journey with someone else’s. It’s why we must constantly take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Why did we start competing in the first place?
Because it was fun, what made it fun?
Why did we start BJJ?To learn a martial art and grow.
Continue growing, at your own pace. Whether it’s taking a break from competition, or mats, in general, to help clear your head, that’s fine. Just be aware, of the time you are away from the mats, others are on it. Don’t let that discourage you, but let it reignite a fire in you. Remember, this journey is yours, it was started with your WHY and it will only end if you let it.