What is your goal?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, like so many things in life, is all about goals. The goal to graduate high school or college; the goal to get the job you want or the promotion you feel you deserve; the goal to start a family and settle down or travel the world to find yourself.
They are the things that keep us going.
When we are white belts, the goals are numerous. So much so, that it isnt about any one thing. Learning and improving are all we know. The goal of the blue belt can be just as important as the first stripe on our white, or our first competition win or even the first submission we get in class.
When we become blue belts we often plateau. We think we know it all, we are a notch above where we once were. We are a little further down the line bowing in before class. We are a part of the select 25% that actually keep rolling after getting our blue.
Purples get a taste for blood. It helped to turn our blue belt purple in the first place. We have learned defense and offense, stringing together submissions, baiting sweeps, all the fun stuff. It all feels so much easier, so second nature. The goal of a black is in sight, we want that brown, but we dream about the black.
There are more goals of course.
Maybe it is fitness, you want to lose some extra pounds and learn a martial art. Two birds with one stone. Were nice guys, no punching or kicking. Thats mean stuff. BJJ is the gentle art, right?
Is your goal to compete in MMA? If it is, let me give you a little hint: you will not be successful in MMA if you dont have a foundation first. Wrestling, boxing, muay thai, BJJ, sambo, judo, whatever. There is too much to learn to have to learn it all at the same time.
The time you spend on the mats, at Minnesota Top Team or elsewhere, is invaluable. Get thrown around, grinded on and otherwise frustrated. Take your time, get better, rise through the ranks, because no one is going to hand you a win in a cage.
Rigan Machado once said Jiu-jitsu is simple, you make it difficult which is something few people hang around long enough to understand. This is a sport that cannot be mastered, cannot be perfected. It is constantly evolving with the limitations only set by our own bodies. The goals are what drive us to be better.
I think it is okay to question why you step on the mat. Sometimes I do myself. When my body is aching and my mind a little less willing to motiva