Regression in Jiu-Jitsu
Instead of just feeding our ego’s, it’s better sometimes to reflect on your training, rolling, and competition with less of an introspective look. In this case, I could say, I must have gotten much better the past few months and now he can’t hang with me anymore; however, I know for a fact that my friend had not trained in weeks, generally spends much less time training, and is about 8 years older than me. I had gotten much better than him, but it was not all my efforts alone. He had, in fact, gotten worse. His lack of time and efforts on the mat caused him to regress. If he were to put the same time and efforts into his training that I had the past few months the differences between us would be far less dramatic.
So, what’s the lesson? The lesson is that in jiu jitsu we are not always learning or improving. There is the old adage that if you’re not getting better you are getting worse, and that is partially true in jiu jitsu. It is also often said in BJJ that there is no losing, only learning. But that is not always the case. Let me explain.
Just by showing up you are not guaranteed to learn, most of us learned this in grade school. If you apply yourself and take an active role in your learning process, you will likely always show some sign of improvement. This doesn’t change once you reach brown or black belt. You can become stagnant in your training, and if you fail to bring your mind to every training session, it is indeed possible to train more and even regress in your abilities. This goes far beyond any physical degeneration you may experience. It has to do with a mental awareness to push your learning boundaries every day. We all go through phases where we are a little disengaged, and this why I think competition is important in jiu jitsu, because it pushes us to take an active role in our learning; less we be destroyed in front of friends and family.
Make sure to take some time this week to learn something new, and engage yourself in the learning process. Jiu jitsu is a long journey and it only makes sense that we would make some pit stops. The key is being sure that we get back on the road.