This may come as a surprise, but I have had something come up that is just apart of the Jiu-Jitsu journey. As I close in on my 5 year mark in January of being in this sport, I find that I am consistently questioning what I am doing, why am I doing this and do I want to continue. Wow, I said it… Do I want to continue??? As surprising as this thought is, it is in fact something that everyone will go through and some will quit, take time off, and others will just keep on rolling. I have recently struggled with this thought of what am I doing, is it worth it? Each time I feel like I may want to hang up my Gi for good, I get back out on those mats and I roll my heart out. It is only then that I truly realize how far I have come and all that I have to offer the new students.
This topic has been written about before and I have had first hand experience with the thought of leaving it all behind and even talked with a girl who did walk away from BJJ. She was very skilled and an all around good BJJ player, and it still shocks me that she quit… she will probably never know how much I learned from her as a white belt. Maybe it is the fact that once reaching the Blue belt things change, goals change and loosing track of that motivation does seem to get blurred with every day activities. I have read through countless excuses as to why some people quit and I honestly think it has to do with leadership and motivation. I stated that I feel like quitting but I return to my gym each time and roll my heart out, each time I go back to my gym I am revitalized if you will… it is such a positive atmosphere of learning and friendship. The people I surround myself with at the gym are people who will more than likely be life long friends. Seriously, if you can choke out your best friend and laugh about it there is no other relationship quite like a Jiu-Jitsu buddy. My husband and I have friends beyond the gym and I know no matter how many functions we participate in there will never be that bond that I have with my fellow team mates. The team goes through so many high’s and low’s and we all support one another and that is a key point to me, and this continues to be one of the reasons why I don’t quit.
Here are a few reasons why I Stay, things that my Coach does and what always brings me back:
1) Praise your students – Regardless of how small the accomplishment, be sure to try and notice their new found skill.
2) Motivate – Every student learns differently and is motivated in different ways, some do this through competition and others see getting those stripes as a final mark of “I did it”… the key is to keep motivating beyond their goals, but push them to make new goals and help them to see where they can improve.
3) Friends & Family – This works for my gym, and might be due to the fact that a lot of the members work together in the Air Force, but having a planned dinner once a week where every member and his or her family is invited can help to unify the gym.
4) Support – There needs to be an underlined support system for each member, not every student will go to competitions but for those that do the gym needs to recognize and support their competitors.
5) Do not loose track of the Journey – Remind everyone that this is a life long Journey, there is no final belt… we are all white belts who continue to learn and realizing this is our own personal Journey.
If you ever have the thought of quitting Jiu-Jitsu, and believe me that is a hard concept to grasp but it does pass through my mind more often than not… just grab your Gi and get back out on those mats and KEEP ROLLING !!!
~ You do not have to be Great to Start, but you have to Start to become GREAT ~
If you are ever in North Texas and passing through or looking for a Gym please check out Redriverbjj.com!