Always look on the bright side of life
Sorry again for the long delay in posts. I had a nasty cold come on Sunday and then had to go to a technology conference for work Tuesday and Wednesday which meant I was not training for a couple of days and not in front of a computer thus I had little to write about and no opportunity to do so.
Further impeding my ability to blog was an assignment given to me by my coach. I had a somewhat difficult weekend of tournament training (I go to other schools on Friday and Sunday for tournament training which means we go very hard) and was not feeling so great about my jits by the end of Sunday. During one of my matches the stripe on my belt (I am a one stripe blue belt) came off on the mat and I made a joke about how it had abandoned my belt in shame after my poor performance.
As I said I was not feeling great about my BJJ after Sunday’s training but this is not something that is unusual for me so I continued with business as usual and went about my day afterward. While hanging at my parent’s later in the day (as you recall it was Easter), I got a text from my coach. He told me that he really liked how I have been pushing myself and he saw some big improvements but he did not want to hear me say anything negative about my skills before the NY Open on the 20th.
At first I thought he was overreacting, I just made one little joke! But then I really thought about it and realized that he was right (as he usually is). I thought about the little things I was doing and saying all day that showed that I did not think I had any game. Not only was this obviously apparent to everyone around me–my coach was able to pick up on it despite pretty limited direct interaction–but it most likely affected my training as well.
I have myself noticed lately (and even blogged about it!) that when rolling if I think positively it really helps my game. Lately when I start to feel down about my game or doubt starts to creep in I think about the quote from Henry Ford “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right” (I have seen various versions of t this quote and am not sure which is correct but you get the idea).
So I thanked my coach and told him I was only joking but I did feel very flat that day (probably because a monster cold was invading my body) but I had made myself push through and was happy I had done at least that. He then told me that he was very serious about me not saying anything negative before the tournament and that I would see a big change if I followed his advice.
So I am doing what my coach says and it is very hard. A huge part of BJJ is mental. I think everyone at some point in time has thought that they are the most untalented person to step foot on a mat and they should just give up because clearly BJJ was not meant for them. Moving past this self-doubt is probably a huge part of advancing.
So although I know that there are things I need to work on, I’m only going to focus on the positive for the next couple of weeks and hopefully go into the open ready to take on the world. In the interest of being positive I am going to make a list of things I think I am good at in BJJ. They are, in no particular order:
- Shoulder pressure – I have the nastiest shoulder in my gym, it is just the right size and shape to choke people.
- Chokes – my choke game is tight.
- Half-guard passes – I always manage to get into half-guard and thus have much practice with this.
- Holding guard – Being smaller and weaker than everyone means I have had a lot of opportunity to work my guard and it is super hard for even the boys to break it.
- I am tough – You have to be when you are a girl who trains with men 95% of the time.
- Back escapes – I very rarely get choked out from the back.
- Turtle – I can flatten myself into the shape of a rock if needed.
Wow that was a longer list than I envisioned it being when I started it. So see? I am good at more than I would typically give myself credit for. I am going to focus on this list and try to get myself into these positions where I feel I can dominate.
And now because I referenced it in the title and because it’s Friday and because you cannot hear this song and not smile, here you go…enjoy!