Defining Victory through Jiu Jitsu: Part 4 Just being able to train

Published on October 19, 2018

Victory by just being able to train


As I mentioned in a previous section, I was sidelined for a while due to a back injury. During that time I was feeling depressed and longing to train. After taking the necessary steps, I was able to jump back into training but this time it was different. I could no longer could train the way I had before and didn’t want to either.   I really had to look at the sport differently and change the way I rolled. I had to be careful about choosing my training partners. By doing so, I had to change my complete outlook on Jiu Jitsu. Each roll became less about submission and more about being able to roll to my fullest potential without getting hurt. I really had to keep my ego out of the picture in the beginning because people I used to beat on a regular basis were now challenging me and even submitting me. At first it was extremely difficult. I kept having to remind myself that I was not terrible at BJJ, but instead I was changing my style to accommodate my injury. I had to keep saying to myself, “It is about training and getting better. There is no winning or losing.” Eventually after redefining my game and the way I rolled, I was able to confidently and proficiently roll with almost everyone. In the end, I found that it actually helped my Jiu Jitsu tremendously. I focused on staying safe and getting good positioning, while listening to my body. If I was teaching a class and I was sore, I didn’t train. If I was feeling good but a little tight, I consciously made the effort to not push it too hard. The days I felt like superman, I took full advantage of. Spreading out my training sessions and listening to my body while I rolled resulted in strengthening my game even more than when I was a competitor at the sport. My cardio may not be the same as it was, but the efficiency at which I train is above and beyond what it was. When I do get to train, whether it’s a bad day or a good day, it feels great. I am given the opportunity to sweat on the mats with my friends and training partners, I am able to stay in shape, and I get to do what I love most–train Jiu Jitsu. Those days of sitting on the couch depressed due to back pain are long gone.


As I train students, I see one theme repeated throughout every age group—some students are satisfied getting just get two nights of training a week because of their family obligations. They don’t care about winning and losing. They just want a couple hours to themselves doing something they love. Others have extremely stressful jobs which require them to be in reactive mode at all times. Jiu Jitsu allows them a couple hours a week to put work aside and unwind. It’s a cathartic release for them. I have some students who are older and still want to push and test themselves against the younger crowd. Win or lose, to them, being on the mats with someone half their age and battling it out for positions keeps them young.


Victory through Jiu Jitsu is all of this and more and can be either at different moments or at the same time. Whether it is chasing medals, experiences or friendships, allow Jiu Jitsu to give you the chance to find what your victory is today. Do not be afraid to change that tomorrow.


Whatever your reason is for doing Jiu Jitsu, try and find small victories on and off the mats. Allow yourself to just open up and look beyond the black and white of winning and losing. Jiu Jitsu can offer you so much more. Jiu Jitsu is a love that will always be honest with you. It will welcome you back no matter how long you’ve been away. It’s exactly what you need at any moment in your life and can form itself to fill any hole in your soul that needs repair if you allow it to do so.

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