Last weekend, I went to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ladies camp. 3 days of workouts, techniques and open mat ‘rolling’ with women that I hadn’t sparred with before. Really challenging and I loved every minute.
BJJ is an utterly frustrating and exhausting sport. When you’re rolling with someone who’s a higher belt grade, or just highly skilled in certain aspects of the game, it’s like playing chess with someone who is always one or more step ahead. And instead of moving pieces on a board, they’re grinding a knee into your solar plexus while working hands up into a choke.
My main issue at the minute is that I’m all defence an no attack. I’ve realised that when I go into sparring, I’m not thinking about what moves I’d like to do or what submission I’m going to attempt; I’m just waiting to defend myself. And of course, the result is that I’m defending all of the time.
Aside from the fact that it’s just not a great mindset, being dominated and controlled – even if you’re great a escaping and resilient as hell – is utterly exhausting.
There’s nothing quite like the tiredness that comes from having another person press their weight and pressure into you, torquing you into all manner of unnatural positions while they work to make you submit. Waiting to be underneath someone, having the life squeezed out of you, before thinking about your own attacks and submissions – this has to be advice given to no one, ever.
On a deeper level, I think that this idea of being ‘on the attack’ is something that you can apply to every area of life.
Whether it’s your career, relationships, goals, hobbies or fears, you can choose to act rather than waiting to react. Things might not go to plan, but tackling things head-on certainly increases your chances of success. Personally, I think that time wasted preparing for things that never happen is far less annoying than mopping up mistakes that you could’ve seen coming.
Remaining standing might be hard to maintain, but it’s much easier than picking yourself up again.
Why wait until you get kicked down to stand up?!