Georgette posted a little while ago about how jiu jitsu doesn’t get easier, and overall I agree, sort of. It’s like any new skill that you acquire, and continue to pursue: unless you are one of those dynamos who naturally picks up everything and does a fantastic job, you will fumble and make mistakes, because that’s a part of being human. You are repeatedly pushed out of your comfort zone, people figure out how to counter some of your go-to moves or your weaknesses are used against you to the other person’s benefit. That of course doesn’t negate the fact that it sucks a whole lot and can lead to a lot of frustration. There have definitely been days where I feel like I have “forgotten how to jiu jitsu”, and pretty much everyone has days like that: where you feel like your coach or instructor is about to tap you on the shoulder and hand your white belt back to you, which you would feel as totally justified.
But, also a wonderful thing about this whole being human thing is our ability to adapt, to overcome these obstacles, and learn from these setbacks. Sometimes you accidentally stumble upon the answer to the dilemma you have having, and sometimes it finds you, or better yet you take the initiative to find a solution. But there is progress- it can be hard to see sometimes because we’re in the middle of it: we plug away and look toward the future, pick at ways we could be better, when occasionally we should look back and acknowledge how far we have come to get to this point. It’s also worth mentioning that as you are progressing, so are your training partners, for the most part. It’s hard to see how far you have come if you are measuring your success among a small group of people that have been going to class just as much as you.
So, to echo Georgette’s sentiment, it’s not that jiu jitsu as a sport becomes ‘easier’: jiu jitsu makes more sense and becomes more fluid because you are learning and developing your skills, even though at times it may not always feel like it, or feel like you are progressing as quickly as you “should” in the sport.