I am not the jiu jitsu practitioner who has been madly in love with jiu jitsu from day one. Case in point: I started jiu jitsu in April of 2009. I trained for approximately 8 months and then I stopped…for almost 3 years. When I started training I was in law school and eventually resigned myself to the idea that I just didn’t have the mental capacity to continue to train. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I was assuming I would take to jiu jitsu like a fish to water: I mean hey, they taught me how to do an arm bar, I should be able to arm bar everyone, right?! When it turned out I couldn’t just arm bar everyone immediately after I learned the move, I became frustrated. My frustration caused me to really struggled with jiu jitsu. I believed that jiu jitsu wasn’t for me…I wasn’t going to succeed in it. And yet, here I sit, telling you that jiu jitsu is one of the greatest choices I have made and one of the greatest choices you have made, because jiu jitsu is for everyone, and you will succeed.
When I came back to jiu jitsu to give it another go I was driven by my perfectionist self…again. I honestly think gave jiu jitsu another try because I didn’t want to be a quitter and I was super bummed that I had gotten so close to my blue belt and just stopped. While I started jiu jitsu again for completely “superficial” reasons, this time I went into it with an open mind and no ego. I realized that I was impatient with myself the first time around. I stepped back on the mat knowing that this was a journey that was going to take time and would be full of failure. What I didn’t know was that the failures, those things that drove me off the mat in the beginning, would themselves be glimpses of success…that with perseverance and dedication those failures make you the jiu jitsu player you will be when you are a blue belt, a purple, a brown, and yes, eventually, a black belt.
Here is another bit of honesty: I am also not the jiu jitsu practitioner who is madly in love with jiu jitsu everyday. There are days when I have to force myself on the mat…days when I just want to go home and relax on the couch. These are the days when I have to remind myself of why I love jiu jitsu: the physical challenge, the stress relief, the camaraderie, the mental chess… But the reasons I love jiu jitsu are usually the same reasons I struggle to get on the mat some days: I am not looking forward to the physical challenge; I am struggling with my jiu jitsu and the mental challenge becomes a mountain; I am in a bad mood and don’t want to interact with people… These are the days when I have to remind myself that jiu jitsu is about the “little by little”; jiu jitsu is about acknowledging the challenges and working to overcome them.
Jiu jitsu is for everyone, but not everyone is going to love jiu jitsu all of the time. It is going to challenge you and test you …often. But jiu jitsu is one of the greatest choices you have made because despite the challenges and the tests you will keep going. Jiu jitsu is one of the greatest choices you have made because little by little it will make perseverance and dedication a part of your daily life, even on the days when you don’t love it.
“Little by little, one travels far.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkein
Girls in Gis Writer
“Veronica lives in Denver and trains with Easton Training Center. She is obsessed with all things food and loves coffee and reading.”