The Maybe Philosophy

How often during training have you felt accomplished or defeated and allowed your mind state to follow suite? Sometimes you admonish or pat yourself on the back depending on how the round is doing. Early on it’s natural and even to be expected to kick yourself. If you’re paying attention, you’ll often hear someone grunt “f**k” or “s**t” after being swept. While we all do this at some point, it’s important to limit how you’re mentally responding to turning points in a round. We have to live in the moment and respond accordingly.

How could we know it is not good for me?

-The Old Man Who Lost a Horse

To put this into perspective, there’s a proverb about an old man who loses one of his prized horses. His neighbor comes by to comfort him for his loss but the old man responds with, “how could we know it is not a good thing for me?”

Sometime later the lost horse returns with an additional horse. The same neighbor comes over and congratulates the old man on now having two horses. Again the old man says, “how could we know it is not a bad thing for me?”

One day the son goes out for a ride on the new horse and breaks his leg after being thrown off violently. The neighbor comes by to offer his condolences. Once more the old man says, “How could we know it is not a good thing for me?”

A year later the Emperor’s army arrives to draft all able-bodied men for his war. Because of his injury, the old man’s son is unable to go off to war and is spared potential death.

The Lesson

The point here being that we don’t know the outcome of any of the mistakes or successes we encounter during a round. It’s all a big maybe, a to be determined conclusion that still needs to be played out.

The challenge should be to accept what has occurred as a point of fact, something we can learn from but cannot be changed. If you beat yourself up about the mistake that you made, you’re creating a secondary mistake that’s only eating up valuable response recourses to the initial problem.

Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment

Buddha

On the other side of this, if you’re too busy patting yourself on the back, you’re not seizing on an opportunity. Worse yet, you may not be seeing your opponent’s response well enough. There are few things worse than nailing a successful sweep only to be reverse back or to fall into a submission you never saw coming.

In Conclusion

Limit the self talk, both negative and positive and live in the moment. The actions you take need to be free of the unnecessary emotions of what we do.

Published by David Figueroa-Martinez

I'm a Gracie Humaita Black Belt Instructor out of San Diego. I've been training Jiu-Jitsu since 2011 and started teaching in 2017.

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