Learning vs. Winning

Henry BJJ 225 SideBar

When I first started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I thought I had to win every time that I went out on the mat for class to show my instructor and teammates that I was improving in my game.  To me (at the time) being submitted by my teammate simply showed everyone that I wasn’t that good.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a way of quickly humbling you.

Over time and by being submitted A LOT by teammates that had more knowledge than me, I started to realize that THIS was the way to show that I was getting better.  Not just to my teammates, but to myself.

Sure, I was submitted, but I had to defend their four previous submission attempts before they moved on to their fifth attempt to finally get me.  THAT is a victory.


You need to remember that when you are rolling with people that have more experience and knowledge, they should be able to submit you on THEIR terms.  They are not catching a break when they secure a submission; they have spent a lot of time on the mat working that submission over and over again.

The next time you hit the mat, keep this in mind and take pride in understanding that you are always learning.

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