Jiu-Jitsu Ego

There’s a subject in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that is always talked about but never discussed. This is a deep and fundamentally rooted aspect to everything we do on the mat. I’m talking about Ego. We say “no egos”. We say “leave your ego at the door”. What does all that mean? I say: ego is the single most powerful tool, weapon, and destructive force in the world, and of course in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Ego is what makes us train hard, get hard, and get good. Ego allows us the courage to go to a competition, and gives us the desire to break the other man. When one’s ego breaks, their will to continue also breaks. Ego is the ultimate stimulant, pre workout and recovery tool.

Ego is also a poison. If we rely entirely upon it, we will crumble at the feet of the humble. Carlson Gracie once said “Always enter like a kitten and leave like a lion. But NEVER enter like a lion and leave like a kitten. Always be humble.” Ego is the twin sibling of arrogance. Never let your ego tell you that you are more than you are because you will quickly discover that you are less than you think.

The Gracies consistently have insisted that BJJ is all about humility and lack of ego, but when one looks at some of their interactions, a lot of what they do is with the intention of boosting their family’s ego. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but at the end of the day, even the founders of the sport have been unable to leave ego out of the equation.

In order for a person to value victory they need to have a healthy ego. The only reason victory matters is self promotion. In fact just about everything we do is to make us more confident. Confidence is an expression of our ego. It is our ego saying “I’ve got this”.

So, I implore all of you out there to check your ego at the door. Make sure it hasn’t gotten the better of you. But also make sure it’s in tact, because ego is the reason we try. Ego is the very essence of what we do with this beautiful art.

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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio (www.strongstyle.com) and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/. Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (www.Meerkatsu.com, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo (www.Northcoast-Cryo.com) NottaRookie, YM (www.cbdyoume.com discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap (www.defensesoap.com discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards (www.impactmouthguards.com discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


  1. First of all. Ego is the force that’s destroys everything and not only Bjj, this is not new in here, it happens in business, sports, home, everywhere, ego has never been a good thing. Maybe you get confused with confidence, that’s completely different, I’m not talking about confidence in beating someone else, it’s about defeating yourself and have confidence in your technique.
    Second, Not only the Gracie’s have that ego, I have met many people in the Bjj environment that their ego have just grown too much at the point of becoming intolerables because of the medals they chase and win (some members from Bjj top teams) ,willingly to do anything like taking peds and sh*t like that (it’s a lie you can train 4 times a day and feel well without peds, the body can’t resist too much fatigue). They should keep their feet on ground and inspire others people, they forgot where they come from, they forgot that once they had nothing. Ego destroys the world buddy, the reason why this world is full of disgrace.

  2. the fact that anybody can just go in and sign up for lessons means a lot of people with less than honorable intentions sign up for BJJ. I have a friend who was one of these.


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