Enjoy the Moment

Last week after class, my instructor said something that stuck with me.  As I was walking out the door of the academy, he mentioned that he “hasn’t seen me laugh that much during class for a long time” and that “it looked like I was having fun.”  It kind of surprised me, because I definitely love training jiu jitsu – at least I think I do!  I try to attend every class I can, and in between classes I spend a significant amount of time studying instructional videos, watching matches, and rehearsing techniques in my head.

I think the reason his remark stuck with me was because it is true.  I am constantly focused on improving as much as possible as quickly as possible.  Of course, before and after class I joke around with other students.  But during class time (and while rolling) I usually make a concerted effort to focus on a few specific techniques that I am trying to improve upon.  I sometimes find myself counting the number of times I hit a sweep I’ve been working on, or correctly execute an escape I’ve been adding to my game.

It has been a long time since I rolled without purpose and enjoyed the simple act of doing jiu jitsu, without obsessing over correcting my grip placement during a butterfly sweep, or maintaining perfect posture during a guard break, or keeping constant pressure during a half-guard pass.  My instructor’s simple, momentary observation forced me to realize something important about my training.  Why am I being so serious about something I love doing?  I train this sport because it’s fun.  I have the rest of my life to improve my technique.  If someday I find myself unable to continue training jiu jitsu, I want to at least look back on the time I spent training fondly.  I want to remember it as something I enjoyed.

I’ll probably still come to each class with predetermined goals in mind and techniques I intend to drill during live rolling.  I still believe there is a great deal of value in setting specific goals for personal improvement and seeing them to completion.  I also still believe that the self-defense skills that jiu jitsu provides are invaluable.  However, from now on my daily list of training goals will begin with something relatively simple – “enjoy the moment”.  If I can accomplish that, I’ll consider that class a success.

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About Dave

Grad student in Ecology, Blue belt in jiu jitsu.
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3 Responses to Enjoy the Moment

  1. Ben says:

    I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing man.

  2. Dave – great post, thank you for sharing.

    Best,
    Nick

  3. thekillerj says:

    I can relate for sure. Good post.

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