Small Successes

When you start learning BJJ, it can feel like an uphill battle.

There are so many techniques to remember that your body must adapt to the new demands. Controlling your breathing and efficient use of strength are all big, initial challenges.

After a few months, the entire picture of BJJ starts to become more clear. Your body starts to do what you are asking of it. You are no longer close to cardiac arrest after a roll with a more experienced training partner.

Yet you are still getting stuck under side control. You are still getting submitted from inside the blue belt’s guard.

It can feel like you aren’t making any progress at all, and this can seem frustrating.

But your instructor sees something different.

Your instructor sees that you are no longer clutching your opponent desperately from the bottom and holding your breath. You are now hiding your arms and not falling easily into submissions.

Your side control escape didn’t work, but your opponent had to deal with it and switch tactics. The opponent needed to switch side control position because you nearly escaped!

In the guard, you are showing some base and solid posture. You are no longer so easily tipped over. You also aren’t leaving an arm inside for an easy triangle. You have countered your opponent’s first and second attacksĀ and now they have to go deeper and deeper into their bag of tricks to catch you.

This is what I refer to as “invisible progress”. It may feel like you are still getting stuck in the same old positions. However, the more experienced training partners are no longer getting you with the first thing they try. Brick by brick you are building your jiu-jitsu game.

And that is small but significant success my friend!

Keep training!

Read also on Jiu-Jitsu Times: Injuries: An Ounce Of Prevention


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