At my job, I had an opportunity to speak to the owner of the company, and the best thing I took away from that conversation was a philosophy. I’ll share it with you because it’s quite simple, and I understood right away why the company made an effort to instill it at the cultural level. So I hope that you will too.
The philosophy consists of just three general guidelines:
- Do the right thing.
- Do it to the best of your ability.
- Care about what you do.
I look at those guidelines, and I believe that they can be applied to far more than just work. In fact, I want to give some insight on how they can be applied to BJJ to improve the learning process.
Do the Right Thing
At a basic level, doing the right thing in BJJ consists of showing up for class on time, paying attention while in class, and reviewing what you learned after class. It’s that simple really. It’s easy to do, but it’s also easy not to do, and I know that because I’ve failed at times.
You have to also always be aware of the fact that when you step onto the mat, you’re not guaranteed anything. The gym just offers you an opportunity to learn. It’s up to each of us to take full advantage of that opportunity. That means that you have to take personal responsibility for your own development.
The seed of that lesson was planted for me when I started training at Evolve. After that first class, I was physically exhausted because I was massively out of shape. I went up to my coach, Mike Moses, and I told him that I really want to do this but I didn’t know if I could. His response was blunt. He just said that if I seriously wanted it, I should put in work outside in order to improve my condition.
That made an instant connection between personal responsibility and martial arts for me.
Do it to the Best of your Ability
I’ve been teaching classes for a few years now, and one thing I consistently notice is the different levels of aptitude that people start with. Some pick up things fast and others don’t, but I don’t look at that as a sign of potential.
The beauty of Jiu-jitsu is that you can take the concepts and find unique ways to apply them that are consistent with your own physical attributes. It all starts though with learning the technique as it is taught to the best of your ability because you can’t effectively create until you understand the concept of it all.
Here’s a little story for you.
This week, I noticed a new student at Evolve. He was in a motorcycle accident which damaged his leg to such a degree that it had to be amputated at the knee. I’ve seen him in two classes but what I’ve noticed is that he has a passion to learn the art.
For example, I was teaching Thursday, and we were going over knee-on-belly transitions. On one side, he could perform the technique relatively well, but on the other side, he was having a lot of difficulty. He still tried a few times before asking for possible modifications. I like that, and I believe that more of us should have the same mindset when it comes to training.
As Henry Ford once said, “There is no man living that cannot do more than he thinks he can.”
Care about What You Do
In a way, this is the most important part. Every opportunity you get to train or compete is precious. Treasure it and try to get the most bang for your buck possible. Go into class with specific goals and objectives. Think about how every effort contributes to your long term goals.
I once heard it said that greatness is the result of little actions compounded daily. The consistent effort we put in daily in the gym matters more than all the big accomplishments, and those accomplishments are the result of the consistent effort.