As a white belt in jiu-jitsu I have come to the understanding that there are going to be good training days and those that you barely survive. It is those I barely survive that I am most appreciative for because as I lay in my own pool of sweat (I know gross) I know I worked hard and pushed myself to make it to the end. I feel in order to succeed in this sport and to continue every day there are three important mentality traits that benefit me.
The first and most important is my love for this sport. I enjoy learning new techniques and drilling those techniques in training. I also enjoy learning about the top players in this sport because they motivate me to continue to hone in on my skills. There are moments when I’m too tired from the day after I finish work but I drag myself to the academy because I know when I get through those doors it feels like home. To train with my teammates is my favorite part of my day because they share the love for BJJ and understand where I’m coming from plus they can stand my constant BJJ talk. I often find myself discussing BJJ whenever I can or thinking about it more often than one probably should but that shows how much I love what I do when I train. A friend recently mentioned to me that it takes love to endure the weight cut preparation as she watched me go through the process on the days leading up to my match. It is part of the life and I accept that because I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The second mentality trait is self-motivation which gets you to the academy and through that last roll when all you want to do is die on the mat. I have been blessed to be extremely self-motivated so it helps that I’m very disciplined in that regards. I know what I need to do and I do it. Trust me it’s not easy to wake up early in the morning to get in my supplemental training for my evening BJJ training however I know it will all come into play when I need it in my next match. Prior to starting BJJ training I was a runner so being self-motivated was definitely needed to go out on runs and increase mileage. I know all too well the wall that you hit when you reach the tenth mile in a half marathon or when you are stuck in side control under a heavier opponent. I have hit that wall and I have to push that wall that conveniently has a sign posted that says you should quit because you have reached your limit. It’s about movement and continuing to do what you were trained to do. If you stop moving then you have allowed your wall to win. I know that in order to improve it will require effort and dedication so I continue to motivate myself to do my training regimen.
The last trait is my desire and persistence to accomplish my goals. My goal at the moment could be a tournament that I’m training for or trying to better myself to achieve that sweep I’ve been desperately trying to execute. By continuing to train and move forward I’m inching closer to those goals. I know when I’m preparing for a tournament I have to increase the intensity of my training and start watching what I put into my body so that I make weight. Another thought I have when I’m in full training mode is to remain humble and know that my opponent is working twice as hard so it motivates me to put in the work to be better than yesterday. I feel by having a goal whether it’s competing or even to execute that sweep it provides a milestone to work towards. I just happen to be a competitor so that is my focus but I still have those small goals in the meantime. I have had my frustrations in trying to accomplish a goal and I have spent the time drilling those techniques to achieve those goals.
As a woman in this sport I know that pushing my limits is even more important because this is a male dominated sport. I have to work with technique rather than strength as a majority of my rolls are with guys. I need to use my smaller frame to move from one position to the next. I have to use speed to my advantage and my flexibility to move out of positions that others can’t. I also believe that by having these three mentalities I stay on track and am able to be successful in this sport. Osss!
Girls in Gis Writer
Germaine is an Arizona native who trains with her awesome teammates at Lopez Jiu Jitsu. She loves running, hiking, reading and dressing up to go spend time with friends when she isn’t training.