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7 Impactful Lessons Learned From My First Year Of JiuJitsu

Pick Any Of Them And Apply Them To Your Life

2 min read

Last summer, I decided to join my local martial arts gym to learn the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

This exciting discipline taught me lifelong lessons I started to apply in my everyday life. Most importantly in my roles as a software developer, writer, and father of three kids.

I want to share them with you so you can apply them in your daily life, whether you choose to train jiu-jitsu or not.

1. Conservation of energy

One of the first mistakes you make as a white belt is; you try to out beat your component with strength. Eventually, you will learn that it is more about being relaxed and learning when to apply pressure and consume energy.

2. Collective knowledge

One member in the community have picked up a new way to swipe down an opponent. Another member uses an entirely different technique. Together they explore why the first worked so well and the other technique worked better in a completely different scenario. Every practitioner adds to the collective body of knowledge.

3. Conceptual thinking

Instead of memorizing techniques, you learn concepts and mental models for deeper understanding. This opened up a more creative way to problem-solve because jiu-jitsu is mainly about problem-solving your way out of a difficult situation.

4. The power of practice

Mental models are useless if you don’t put them to practice. With jiujitsu, there is no way around it. The faster you can iterate and apply the concepts and techniques you learned in theory, the better.

5. Specialization

You will be bombarded with hundreds of techniques. Learn to filter out most and focus on mastering a few. Being good at one or two things will generate confidence in a specific scenario. Once you gain mastery in that situation, you move on to the next one. And then the next one.

6. Intensity and quality

The quality of your learning will be determined by how fast you can apply concepts and techniques. Not by how many hours, weeks, months, and years you spend on the mat. Kit Dale, an Australian martial artist, went from white belt to black belt in 4 years. Most practitioners spend 4 years going from white to blue.

7. Finding your own game

For some practitioners, putting pressure at all times may work very well. But for others, not so well. The key is to find what works best for you. Everyone is a unique combination of stamina, strength, weight, length and intelligence. You learn what works for you.

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