Growing in BJJ Sometimes Means Changing Your Mind

Growth and an evolving mindset do happen though: it’s part of what makes us human. You don’t believe the exact same things you did say 8 to 10 years ago: you’ve been presented with facts and other pieces of information that were not available to you before then, and you have taken the time to digest and come up with your own conclusion. Side note, we like to think that our minds will be changed when presented with enough compelling evidence, but more often than not we shy away from the cognitive dissonance and dig our heels in, especially when someone presents information to us in what would be considered a confrontational manner.

I’m not here to say that is wrong: it’s a method of self preservation if you will. If we believed every credible sounding piece of information that blew our way, we would have no opinion at all. We would simultaneously agree and disagree with everything in sight. This is also why I loathe when people want to debate in casual conversation with the intention of “winning” – there’s no such thing, knock it off.

I’m bringing this up because of a post I saw on social media recently:

And I have to say, for a long time I was one of these people: I thought the kettlebell was the end all, be all when it came to building strength (of course as supplementary to jiu jitsu, because duh).

As time has gone on though I have come to appreciate other pieces of equipment in the gym more. I still think kettlebells offer great range of options for exercises with relatively little equipment, can help you with stabilizer muscles especially with certain moves like bottoms up *insert exercise here*. But, I definitely have more respect for other gym equipment than ever before.

How does this relate to jiu jitsu? Well, there are times where you think a certain move is THE BEST in a situation, and it may take some time to come to the conclusion that it’s good, but maybe not “the best”. A certain sweep, a certain way to approach a problem on the mat- as you continue to train and allow yourself to at least consider those possibilities, your mindset and (hopefully) your jiu jitsu game will evolve over time. You may still have some common elements to your game as to when you started, but if you ran side by side comparisons with yourself in the same situation- one when you just started, and the other years and years later, there will be some familiarity, but for the most part you should be able to see a more evolved game- not totally foreign, but different as you are presented with new information and problems to encounter.

All of this really to say, it’s ok sometimes to change your mind, to explore, and to change your mind sometimes when it comes to training in jiu jitsu.

That’s all for now: have a great day everyone!

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