3 Self-Destructive Habits Of Jiu-Jitsuka

Lee Brimelow / Flickr Creative Commons

I want to take a second to talk about some of the things we do that hold us back in many ways.

With so many people training and the rising popularity of sport BJJ, you would think we had this down to a science.

But we don’t.

Many practitioners are still exhibiting behaviors that can undermine their training and hold them back from breaking their plateaus. I have learned this both through observation and personal experience, and the worst thing you can do is continue these self-destructive behaviors once you have identified them.

Here are the top three self-destructive habits of jiu-jitsuka.

  • Excuse Making– This is the same for any sport or activity. It is so easy to shift the blame for shortcomings on someone or something else. This can be done after losing a competition (“He was stronger, faster, more athletic, has four degrees, is a sandbagger, etc”). All of the aforementioned statements could be true, but nonetheless take the responsibility of improving away from us. Because our loss was “justified,” we no longer feel compelled to analyze the situation and what went wrong.
  • Not Training With White Belts– This one seems to be somewhat common in the community and is one of the worst. Not only are you robbing the lower-ranking students of the opportunity to learn and to see that there are other levels in technique, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to learn. Sometimes we can learn even from white belts. Because they are not aware of the way certain moves work, they may come up with very unorthodox ways to defend themselves. This in-turn can help us get better and develop new counters.
  • Not Training Certain Moves– While some moves are banned in competition for a reason, that does not give us license to pretend they do not exist. This is especially common with heel hooks and neck crank variations. Avoiding these movies only holds us back from learning the full spectrum of jiu-jitsu.


What other self-destructive habits have you personally observed in BJJ? Are you guilty of some of these? I know I have been from time to time, but I have worked myself to avoid them.


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