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What it Takes To be Successful in BJJ


What does it truly take to be successful in the BJJ world?

This is a question many wonder but find it very difficult to answer. Truth be told there can be many different answers to this question based on you as a person.

Define Success 

   My first suggestion is to define success in your own eyes. Where do you want to go in Jiu Jitsu and what will you have to do in order to consider yourself a success. Do you want to win titles, what belt level? Do you want to be a great coach? Do you want to help your team and partners become better? Do you want to travel and train under many of the greats? This is very important because we must have a base for what we will consider success.


   The next step in becoming a success in BJJ is goal setting. Your need to set goals both long term and short term in order to have some measure of your own personal progress. The problem is most people actually do set goals but they fail for two reasons. The first is because they are typically long term goals such as “win worlds”, “lose 30 pounds”, “get my blackbelt” and many other that follow this trend. The problem with these types of goals is that they leave no room for accomplishment steps in between .  Most people don’t realize that what happens in between our goals is more important than the goal itself. How can you win worlds if you don’t practice in local tournaments? How can you lose 30 pounds without first losing 10 ? The next problem people have with goal setting is they tend to over generalize. And what I mean by generalize is they first don’t specify how (they go into this new goal with no real plan) and they also set no time limit. Setting a time limit is a must because without a time limit we tend to think that “oh I can do it tomorrow, or next week.. or next year”.

Hard Work

   The last and probably simplest of the steps is just to work hard every day.  Arnold Schwarzenegger had six general rules for success and his fifth rule was Hard Work. He even said “none of my rules for success will work unless you do”. Every day you should wake up and work on your dreams and goals. Hard work in BJJ can be many different things. Hard work can consist of always being in class, training hard, training smart, Helping your teammates and depending on your predefined goals many other things.

As you can see what it takes to be successful in BJJ can take many forms, however there are three basic rules for success in BJJ. You must first define what you are going to consider success. Then you must set specific goals with time limits and then you must work hard on them day in and day out. I hope this has helped open a few eyes. Now go out there and create yourself.

About the author: Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt under Anibal Lobo and Pedro Sauer.

1 comment… add one
  • Excellent!

    Many people set irreal long term goals. As you said, if you want to lose 30 pounds, why don’t set to lose 10 first. This way you’ll be more motivated to lose the other 20 pounds because you’ll show your mind you can realize a weight lose!

    Thank you for the article!

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