I’m not sure I’ve ever done something so challenging. I’m not sure I’ve ever done something where I’ve felt like I’m starting back at the beginning so many times.
Going to college was nothing compared to this – I’ve never wanted to be “good” at college. There, you do it and get it over with. You walk away with a diploma and wonder what you just paid for. If society didn’t demand a college education, believe me, I wouldn’t have one.
Jiu-Jitsu is voluntary. No one demands it of me besides myself and sometimes, I wonder why I do it at all. Then I remember that if I ever stopped, I would cry. No seriously, I would cry. I’ve told Jeff on more than one occasion, that if I ever had an injury that was supposed to get in the way of my training, you’d see me limping onto the mat. It’s that bad.
I just began reading Jiu-Jitsu University and I’m liking it. Things are broken down nicely in a very understandable way. The only problem is, it’s different than a lot of advice I’ve already received.
For example, we have a local school that only promotes students when they get enough competition experience. If the students don’t compete, they don’t get promoted. Now, the book I’m reading says that’s basically crazy. Who to believe? I know “to each their own,” but c’mon. This is one area that bugs me about the game.
Another area is the pressure game versus being fluid. Which one? Technique over strength? Wrestling style versus inverted guard? Ryan Hall versus BJ Penn? You can’t get more opposite than these things when compared to each other and it’s frustrating. There have been countless times when I’ve walked onto the mat and said to myself, “This is the way I want to be.” Then, failed and fell back on to what I know. Jiu-Jitsu can be very nebulous at times and can be classically “You need to develop your own style” and then, “Just listen to me.”
I suppose the only thing I can really do is trust myself and the game I’ve developed. I remember doubting myself as an early blue belt and I got past it. Now that I’m a purple, I’ve seen myself grow exponentially in the past few months. Few people stomp on me and I give most guys I roll with a challenge. Who’s to say I should change?
It’s just that when I read literature or watch videos from so called masters, my go-to thought is to emulate them. The problem with that is, I’m a loose player. Other’s aren’t. I’m a roly-poly kind of guy. Others aren’t. I’m fairly pleased with my game. I can’t say for sure, but perhaps other’s aren’t. And I smile a lot. Some of the guys I roll with like to focus. I’ve never had much of that.
If I’m looking for advice here, I suppose the only one I can get it from is myself. And the only advice I have is to stop thinking and to simply keep going.