The Hardest Thing You Will Learn in Jiu Jitsu

There is one thing that you will learn in jiu jitsu, and it will take years to master- more difficult than Berimbolo with whatchamacallit pass into a spinning armbar…thing.

The most difficult thing you learn in Jiu jitsu is patience.

Patience to hold onto a choke, letting the blood slow to your opponent’s brain, even though it doesn’t look like they are going to tap any time soon.

Patience to wait for hours and hours in an educational facility’s gymnasium with some mascot you don’t quite get how it could strike fear into the hearts of their opponents (Anteaters?) for a few exhilarating minutes in competition, even as the staff is beginning to clean up the trash from the weathered and abandoned bleachers.

Patience to tell a white belt to put their hand here and their foot there, not the other way for the sixth time, and not sound like a jerk.

Patience to watch as the pounds and ounces go down on the scale at what can seem like a glacial pace when you are losing weight to fit into a division.

Patience to explain to friends, family and strangers in a polite and succinct manner what Jiu jitsu entails, and still maintain a pleasant and polite demeanor when that awkward, silence settles because they are still not entirely sure what you are talking about.

And on the other end of the spectrum, patience to deal with the over-enthusiastic guys who will tell you how they wrestled in highschool, took 6 months of Tae Kwon Do when they were 10 and ask questions like, “what would you do if I took you down right now?”

Patience to fail, dust yourself off, fail about 20 more times, and still keep getting up and continue to drill and train.

Patience to watch your teammates add another stripe to theirs belts or change colors as you feel like you are at a standstill in your progress (you’re not, but it can feel that way).

It’s one of the biggest psychological benefits to jiu jitsu, other than its immediate stress relief. The world has too little patience- people rush and claim they understand and appreciate things that take time, as they tap their foot and stare down their local coffee shop barista because they should have hand their latte in hand 30 seconds ago. It’s one of the hardest things to learn, and one of the most essential, in jiu jitsu and in life.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The Hardest Thing You Will Learn in Jiu Jitsu

  1. Pingback: Jiu Jiu's BJJ Blog – 21 BJJ Improvements: 13 Patience

  2. This is one of my favorite posts of yours. I love thinking about the cross over effect jiujitsu has on life. I can totally relate to the situations, especially explaining jiujitsu to strangers. haha Jiujitsu HAS made me more patient. Again, nice post.

  3. Pingback: October 24, 2013 | BJJ News

  4. I would like to print and hang this post on our wall at AcademyCyprus.
    With your name and URL of course. Is it possible?

  5. Lots of great points in here! I love hearing that question: “what would you do if I took you down right now?” I usually look at them, grin really big, and say, “I can take down a 300 pounder – repeatedly. Want to see what I can do with you?” Usually shuts ‘em up. ;)

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