That Helped My BJJ
As I’ve pondered the question “What is the single biggest thing that helped my BJJ?” posed by my good friend,
Brent Lundell, I couldn’t help but think; “Is there really ONE overriding factor that has helped me in BJJ or are there more? And if so what is it or what are they?”
I started jotting down all of the things that I believe have helped me over the years as a wrestler and grappler. I came up with many principles that most of you probably would come up with right off the bat; desire, sacrifice, effort etc. But that seemed too easy. It seemed on some level that was the ‘Sunday School’ answer and although true and accurate it couldn’t possibly cover my 21 years of wrestling and grappling experience.
I wanted a clearer picture of what it has taken me to get to this point. I wanted to really take a holistic look at how I got here and how I can continue on.
Successes and failures in life often depend on three things that we have the most control over. These are:
These three factors all influence one’s life direction and outcomes. Of all the things that one can ‘control’
in this life these are the three which are most controllable and which you have the most direct choice in determining. You may not always control the type of environment you start with but you can determine which environment you will end up in. Attitudes lead to actions. Actions create Environments. Environments influence Attitudes. This cyclical combination will ultimately take you where you want to be or send you down a path of misery.
With some further luck and insight this exercise might help both you and me in continuing on in our quest for grappling greatness. Remember what the great Sun Tzu said; “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”
I have made an attempt to categorize the factors that have influenced my athletic career into the three categories I’ve listed previously. Most of the items I describe fit nicely under these three categories however
there are some which are less tangible but fit best in one category over another.
- Desire: to excel and desire to achieve and experience greatness as it pertains to performance and achievement as an athlete.
- Enjoyment: I enjoy the challenge and the struggle of competition and overcoming them
- God: he’s blessed my path and granted me success in my endeavors
- Open minded: I enjoy trying new styles: Wrestling (Folk, Greco Roman, Freestyle), BJJ, Judo, Catch as Catch-Can Wrestling, Sambo, Eskrima, Boxing, Kick Boxing.
- Humility: I’ve tried to learn from as many people as I can.
- Vision: “Without vision the people perish.” I was able to see what others had done and accomplished and then desired it for myself. “If they can I can” When you see others doing good you see that it’s possible. You think differently about the world and about what you’re doing that could be better if you only did xyz. I got to see a lot of good wrestling US Open, OTC, GR/FS Worlds. I got to see a lot of good grappling BJJ Worlds, FILA Worlds etc. I wanted to be the kind of athlete that has a long career and success and tradition of winning. I wanted to be able to have stories and have good memories of being a top level athlete.
- Responsibility: “Being my own Master” seeking to be the one in control of my own destiny and path; consequently I have taken full responsibility for my performances and for my development as an athlete and instructor. I actively seek for mastery. I study. I perfect my craft.
- Guts & Stupidity: Being too dumb and determined to know that I should have packed it up years ago.
- Study: Observing and connecting styles and principles. Reading and listening to the success of others whether they are athletes or not. Finding the correlations that exist for successful people in diverse fields. I am always studying videos for personal application and general knowledge within my craft and I understand the difference between the two.
- Planning & Designing my approach to training and competition. Developing specific plans for incremental improvement in training and competition.
- Mental/Emotional development – Increasing my Spirit. I’ve worked very hard to develop a stronger mental game and understanding sport psychology. I’ve been able to have major breakthroughs because of it. I’ve also helped my athletes make breakthroughs with the knowledge I have on the subject.
- Time: Endurance and Persistence. I’ve paid the price to be successful physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. I’ve put a lot of time, effort, energy and money into my athletic goals.
- Sacrifice: Willingness to pay the price. I’ve given up time on other things, time with family and given my physical body.
- Consistent Training Schedule: Regular planned times to train for Strength & Conditioning and technique and sparring
- Success breeds success: Small victory leads to big victory. Those who have will receive more. Those who have not will have it taken away. Winners get more attention from other winners and coaches. Their opponents give up and fear them mentally/emotionally. Once I got my foot in the door or success I’ve been
able to wriggle my way in.
- Luck: Good and bad it is always a factor
- Support Team: My wife and kids. Mom & Dad. They all help me do what I do/have done.
- Friends: Good training partners who let me torque on them
- Coaches: I’ve had some good instruction from world class athletes and coaches.
- Talent: I do have a physical talent and penchant for grappling styles and being physical. Hard work can complement talent and help one get the most out of whatever amount of talent they do have but it rarely ever replaces it.
If I were to boil it all down to one thing, which as I stated earlier is almost impossible, I would have to say that DESIRE is the number one factor that has enabled me to have success in Wrestling and BJJ. Without an initial desire to attain or experience something greater than what you now have you won’t go anywhere. My desire led to everything else, but
as you can clearly see success is more than just “wanting
it bad enough”or “wanting it more
than the other guy”.Desire is like a seed that grows over time that
eventually grows into success. It is a process.
I hope you enjoyed my answers to a simple but powerful question.
I hope it helps you in your pursuit of greatness.