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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tough times

What's happening dudes? So I've had a long time between blogs again, apologies! My training has been terrible for the last two months; I had my knee surgery (3 weeks out) then it was the quieter xmas/ny period and I also had a cold so barely trained, then as soon as I got back to full training I had an infection in an ingrowing hair... nightmare. It's over with now though, so all good.

I stayed off blogging during this time because I get really frustrated easily when I can't train properly (ask my wife, haha). As it's my job I have to teach no matter what, but just teaching isn't enough to replace the desire to roll, and can make things worse. So I avoided writing about jiu-jitsu as it would have only increased the frustration at having been off proper training for so long... 3 weeks off after surgery I could just about cope with (as I knew it was coming up ahead of time) but almost 2 months is unbearable.

Tough times are really what jiu-jitsu is all about though, if it's not tough something isn't right. If you leave training feeling fresh then you probably haven't improved much; you either haven't done enough training, you haven't rolled with the right people, you haven't put yourself in bad positions during sparring... or maybe all three. You always have to try to push yourself, both physically and mentally, every session. If you always pick sparring partners who you know you can dominate you'll gain nothing, if you sit out rounds you're limiting your growth, if it's the last round and you're tired, your grip is dead and the only partner left is a higher belt the last thing you should do is not roll.

Competition is probably the toughest part of jiu-jitsu, because everything is magnified. If you tap you do it in front of potentially hundreds of people. When you lose you don't just restart and try again or move on to the next opponent, you go home. You might have trained specifically for the comp for weeks or months, dieted to make weight, driven hundreds of miles or more to the competition... and you face the prospect of losing in 10 or 20 seconds. It's a tough thing to do, so why do it? Because it's tough! It makes you stronger mentally, dealing with the nerves in the build up, having to face unknown opponents, dealing with the losses and disappointments.

Overcoming adversity will only improve your jiu-jitsu, and in life in general will make you a much stronger person. So the next time you feel like taking the easy option in something, take a moment to reconsider and think about which choice will really be the best in the long term.

Back to more regular blogs now, so check back soon :)

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