Jiu-Jitsu Depression

Photo by: Jared Lopper

Jiu-jitsu always makes us feel great, right? While this may be true to an extent, we all have some bad days in the academy.

Many people don’t like to focus on these because they are usually few and far between, but sometimes people can get in a funk which can drag them down and even make some lower belts quit.

Jiu-jitsu tests us in many ways both physically and psychologically. I want to take a few moments to talk about the things that can put us into a funk and give us bad BJJ days.

The first problem we often face is in the form of expectations. When we expect a certain outcome and it is not reached, we can get a little depressed. Maybe you thought you were up for a promotion and got passed over again.

Another more common problem is the expectation of improvement. We often feel like we should be improving much faster than we really can. We have to remember that BJJ is not a linear journey. We will not be at plateaus forever; we will get passed them.

One more example of how expectations can get us down is in the form of competition. We all want to win, and when our expectations are not met, it sucks.

But remember, this is a game. On any day, only one person can win and three to four can get a medal.

Competition is also not the only reflection of our skill, so we must not hold ourselves to that standard. Still, we can seek to improve.

The next thing we do to self-sabotage ourselves is compare ourselves to others. Comparing ourselves to others is something we do in our day-to-day lives. We compare what we have and what we do with what they have and what they do.

Jiu-jitsu is no exception to this rule, but that doesn’t mean we should let our insecurities ruin our training. We cannot compare ourselves with those who have better skills. Each person has her own journey and will progress at her own rate.

The last thing we need to get rid of is negativity. We can often get so bummed out by day-to-day life that we end up bringing that attitude into the academy.This is tragic. We cannot allow our outside life to affect our mat life.  If we come into the gym with a negative mindset, we will not train as hard, drill as hard, or listen as much.

So, to summarize: if you are in a BJJ funk, you must remove the expectations you are placing on yourself and stop comparing yourself to others. You also need to remove the veil of negativity from life when you step onto the mats.

These three components are responsible for a lot of headaches in the BJJ community, and we are all better off without them.

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