Reaching Your Potential In BJJ

Do you feel that you are realizing your potential in jiu-jitsu? As goal seeking individuals, we have a drive to be the best that we possibly can.

The upper ceiling of that potential is an individual thing. Ronald “Jacare” Souza for example, is a natural athlete and had the potential to be a multi-time World Champion and a professional fighter. Not all of us had the foresight to select the parents with the right genetics.

For BJJ students, what are the factors in reaching your potential?

1) Your genetic potential.

Some guys, like Jacare, were born with explosive, fast twitch muscle fibers. Some are gifted with insane flexibility like BJ Penn.

For the average BJJ Joe, you will have to seek to maximize whatever your natural attributes may be.

2) Influence of a top level instructor.

You need to be exposed to a high level of instruction and learn the correct foundation early. It takes too long to learn by trial and error.

Seek out the best quality instructor that you can learn from.

3) Solid group of training partners.

We see top instructors and competitors form teams to create the optimal training environments. Team Atos, for example, attracts athletes with good potential and, as they say, “iron sharpens iron”. It is difficult to go far without those training partners to grow with.

4) Injury maintenance.

We see professional fighters who, due to frequent injuries and surgeries, are unable to fulfill their ultimate potential. Think of the often-injured Cain Velasquez or Dominic Cruz. You have to find a way to stay healthy and on the mat!

5) The mental strength.

Persistence. Self discipline. Focus. Coachability. These are all less tangible factors than physical qualities. Many guys with great physical potential pass in and out of the academy doors. Unless you can avoid self destructive behaviors and win mental battles, you will not survive in jiu-jitsu.


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