ETC Denver recently hosted an in-house BJJ competition for all Easton BJJ students. Quality jiu jitsu was put on display, along with resilience and grit. Because of how the brackets were set up, it gave the competitors a chance to bounce back from tough losses. It was very inspiring to see so many people put it all on the line. Also, it had me questioning just why these people were competing.
Competition breeds excellence
I believe these people were competing in order to test themselves and push past their limits. They were all there to hone their skills, and the best way to do that is to apply the lessons you’ve learned against someone of a similar skill level.
Iron sharpens Iron
Awhile back I asked John Combs about his defining moment as a jiu-jitsu competitor. He told me it was when he started showing up to the competition class. This was a setting where people were trying to break people. He attributes this constant pressure with promoting the growth process.
Order and Chaos
After countless hours of training in a controlled environment (the BJJ academy), a BJJ practitioner can choose to test his or her skills in a much more uncontrolled environment (BJJ tournament). The competitor rides the line between order and chaos in order to: 1. revert to his or her training 2. adapt to the feelings of chaos brought about in a competition setting. This balancing act is similar to the life of a star. With nuclear fusion wanting to rip the star into myriad pieces, and gravity wanting to crush the star into nothing, the star achieves a perfect symmetry between opposing forces. Because this symmetry is formed, life is able to exist.
What separates a successful person from an unsuccessful one? Is it freakish physical ability? Are some people naturally better at things than others? While these factors may attribute to “success” in life, a person’s mindset in the face of a challenge is far more pertinent. Therefore, what separates a successful person from the rest is how he or she handles failure. Nearly everyone’s initial reaction to failure is embarrassment and the desire to quit. The voice telling us to do this is our ego. It is our job to quiet this voice and fully submit to the learning/improvement process.
Embrace the Grind
Instead of shying away from defeat, we should look at it as an opportunity for growth. More on this topic is discussed in this article. Once things get comfortable, it’s probably time to move on to the next step of your training. By constantly seeking improvement in all aspects of the game, our own game starts to open up. By broadening our arsenal, we become less predictable, allowing us to execute techniques more efficiently.