The White Belt Chronicles: I Can’t Get It Out Of My Mind (And That’s A Good Thing)


I haven’t written about Jiu-Jitsu since my update about my first tournament experience back in April.

Truthfully I’ve only made it to about 3 or 4 classes since April, in part, because I’ve been travelling lots lately, and was out of the country for four of those weeks.  But also because, for the first time in my “Jiu-Jitsu experience” I wasn’t really feeling motivation for a little while.

After my tournament I was really disappointed.  I had trained really hard, and I really felt that I under-performed what I was capable of doing.  As a result, my confidence was shaken, and for the first time in a while the fear came back – fear of losing, fear of getting tapped by people who had just started learning Jiu-Jitsu, fear of never getting better.  Because I was feeling fear it wasn’t as easy to go to class as it used to be.  When I got home from my vacation, I justified not going for a week since “I hadn’t been for three weeks anyway”.

What I found however, was that by not going to class, I wasn’t doing anything to confront my fears.  So when the time came to go to class again, the fear was actually much stronger than it was the previous time. By not going to class for several weeks I was actually building up a large wall of resistance around myself, thus making it harder for me to attend in the future.

Here is the interesting thing about Jiu-Jitsu though – it is wildly addictive.  So even though I was feeling fear again (the same type of fear that I used to feel all the time when I first started), I still couldn’t stop thinking about Jiu-Jitsu.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I found myself constantly thinking about Jiu-Jitsu.  It seemed to be everywhere.  I would see Jiu-Jitsu updates on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and even though I was still feeling fear, the updates made me want to go back.  I wanted to get back in the gym.  I wanted to learn.

Tonight I got up and went to class.  I had a really good time.  Oddly enough I was talking with another white belt who told me that his attendance had been sporadic lately as well, but that everyday he feels like he needs to get there.  Like me, he can’t seem to get Jiu-Jitsu out of his mind either.

That is a good thing. 

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again.  Jiu-Jitsu is easily the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and it does not come easy to me. Going to law school – piece of cake compared to Jiu-Jitsu.  Building a business and leaving law – Jiu-Jitsu makes that seem simple.  Writing my first book – that was way easier than learning Jiu-Jitsu.

I think its difficulty is what makes it attractive to me.  

On my drive home today from class (I live 45 minutes away from the gym so I also get lots of “reflective” time when I go to BJJ) I had a distinct impression, and with that impression I set a goal.

The impression was this:  The best thing that I could do for my Jiu-Jitsu game right now is to detach and throw myself into it more.  Leave behind the tournament results.  Leave behind the many times that I’ve been tapped.  Leave behind the many times I am going to get tapped still, and just roll.  Roll without focusing on results but rather just focus on my own technique.  

So a goal that I’ve set for myself is that I want to roll 100 times between now and the end of the year.  I’m going to start keeping track of how many times I roll.

Thank you Jiu-Jitsu for being so persistent.



2 comments on “The White Belt Chronicles: I Can’t Get It Out Of My Mind (And That’s A Good Thing)”
  1. asgardgarage says:

    Great post. Remember the best way to learn how to avoid being tapped is to get caught. Note what you did or your opponent did that led to the submission. Oss!

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