One thing you’ll find once you wet you toes with BJJ is that no matter how bad your day has been, you will always turn it around after a training session.
I’ve been there so many times where, I’m thinking to myself, “I’ll not bother with training tonight, today’s been a crappy day, I’ll go get a good sleep and get back tomorrow.” only to find, I get home and think, I should of just went to training and then feel even worse. On the days where I’ve just went to “show my face” but haven’t been that bothered with training, I’ve came out from the session buzzing and full of more energy that I began the class with. It’s weird.
This got me thinking. On the days that you don’t want to train are the most important days to train. The feeling of not being in the correct head space, or not having worn your lucky hat,does not make for a valid excuse to be a lesser version of you than any other day. Everyone has off days, and that’s OK, but off days that lead to skipped training sessions, that lead to a month or two out is not OK. Having a consistent training schedule and sticking to it will benefit you more than you think. You always know when you roll you will learn something you didn’t know before or, it will reinforce a technique that you have been working on over the last few weeks. It helps to build the habit of self improvement and allows you to have a much needed chat with your body.
Stepping onto the mats, snapping your belt tight around your waist, warming up the muscles you neglected through out the day has some kind of positive effect on you. You move your body in a way that is different to the usual day to day work-mode movements and this seems to promote the feel good factor. Your body needs a good stretch from time to time and warming up through this is an important step. Warming up through stretching and through light rolling helps to release any tension you were carrying throughout the day and allows you to relax. It is this kind of thing that makes training bjj a form of meditation for the entire body. Switching off the busy head and rolling with the intention of letting go brings you back down to earth and provides you with the zen you were lacking at the start of the session.
Putting yourself into a position where you have to make a decision and exercise your willpower is what is needed to remain productive. The reward for pushing through the barriers you setup for yourself is always worth it, even when you think it isn’t at the time, it is. Always.
BJJ is a journey of figuring out your body, figuring out your head, then in turn figuring out your opponent. This can only be done with spending the time on the mats and in training. The small things you have to repeat and practice over again will eventually stick and help to provide a good foundation for building and developing your game. When you miss opportunities for drilling or rolling it just prolongs progress. These opportunities are always utilised by someone else, potentially giving them the nudge to step ahead of you ever so slightly. Seizing little things here and there always help you develop a better understanding of positions and moves, then suddenly, it clicks, a world of opportunities open up to you that you were never aware of. Moments like this do not come along everyday, but its the consistent small steps you take that allow it to happen when it does.
With an average time it takes to earn a black belt of 10 years, give or take a few, you owe it to you to stay on track by just turning up. The mats will take care of the rest.