The Less You Care If You “Win” Or “Lose” In The Gym, The Better…

When I roll, I have different objectives with different training partners.  If I am training with someone smaller, weaker, or newer than me, I am going to roll very differently than with someone on my level or higher.  Bearing that in mind, I have found that the less I care, the less I am emotionally attached to the outcome of a roll in the room, the better I become at absorbing information from that roll and at utilizing that information to improve my jiu-jitsu.

Bottom line: in the training room I don’t care if I “win” or “lose”.

This is not to say I don’t harbor ego.  I take great pride in executing a beautiful escape, submission, or submission entry.  On the other side of things I am often disgusted in my failures.  But when it comes to training, in the moments that I am able to abandon emotion as it pertains to the outcome of any given roll I am able to gain the most useful and actionable data.

Many people view this as weakness.  You’re supposed to want to win.  You’re supposed to want to succeed.  On a competition mat, my goal is victory.  On a training room mat, my goal is to gain the tools needed to achieve victory on the competition mat.  The only way I am going to gain those tools is by working on areas where I have deficiencies, and the only way I can commit to working on those areas is if I stop caring about what happens when I do.

Learn to define success not by what you can do to others in the confines of your training space, but by the absence of voids in your game.  If there are voids in your game, that means that you have focused too much on positions from which you can win and not enough on ones from which you can’t.  In other words: you spent too much time focusing on winning at the gym, and not enough time focusing on the areas where you are weakest.

This is a result of defining failure in the training room as “losing” and success as “winning.”  It’s a result of unhealthy definitions of both.  If you’ve got a slick guard, but your top game is trash, which means that you haven’t engaged people with good guards because you are worried about getting caught in their guards.  If on the other hand you are a phenomenal wrestler but if you wind up on your back you are like a fish out of water, chances are you refuse to accept the guard game because you’re not yet comfortable with it.  The only way to become comfortable with any aspect of the game is to build it up from white belt/beginner level.  And if you care about success and failure in the gym, this won’t happen.

The sooner you stop caring about winning and losing in the gym, the sooner you can start to build your game up.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here