Motivation - we all know it’s the reason we are driven to do things. Some people seem like they are always ready to train, whereas other folks struggle to get into the gym regularly. If you’re like me, you fall somewhere in between those two extremes with your motivation to drill and roll. Though I am only a 1 stripe white belt, I’m closing in on my first 6 months of training. Here are some tips and reflections that I’ve found helpful to keep me motivated to hit the mats…
One thing that keeps me motivated to train is that I find value in my training regimen. There is more to this than meets the eye, allow me to explain. Training bjj has given me so much in the short time I’ve trained. I eat better, I look better, I feel better. BJJ has gotten me into the best shape of my life. It gives me the confidence to know that I’m able to deal with all sorts of conflict in my life. My boss isn’t anywhere near as scary as the guy trying to choke me out who outweighs me by 50 pounds! My training has made me resilient and has improved every aspect of my life outside the gym.We also give value to our gym and communities. It’s hard to train triangle chokes and armbars without a training partner. So everytime I show up to train, I know I am providing value to my gym and training partners just by being there. I have started to make friends with my regular training partners, which is great. We encourage each other to keep coming. So BJJ not only provides me a valuable skill and other benefits, but it makes me feel valued as a member of the martial arts community. The value I get from BJJ is one thing keeping me motivated to train.
Another thing that keeps me going is the challenge of jiu jitsu. I’ve never really enjoyed traditional forms of cardio like jogging or riding a stationary bike. I do enjoy the physical challenge of BJJ. I’ve had some grueling times on the mat that made me question why I was even there. BJJ has a way of humbling us all, but I know each time I make it to class I’m improving my heart and cardio abilities.The mental aspect of the art is awe inspiring. Jiu Jitsu is like chess mixed with wrestling. One wrong move and you’re swept or submitted! I love trying to bait my opponent into going for a submission to move them off balance and improve my position. There are so many techniques and moves that the learning aspect will never end. To me it’s very motivating to know that if I stick with my training, I’ll develop my own style and game in BJJ. It’s like an RPG video game where I am the hero building my skill tree up with new powers and abilities!
As I have already mentioned, BJJ is a treat and rewarding all by itself. Sometimes though, it’s hard to get smashed and submitted day in and day out as a white belt. It deflates the ego and is humbling, but everyone goes through this. I’ve found that rewarding yourself for your efforts is a good thing to do to keep motivated. For example, I am competing at my first competition this weekend. I’ve decided that no matter how well I do, I am going to be proud of all the hard work I’ve done and I will reward myself with the Meerkatsu Midnight Tiger Spats. Love the design on these and they will be awesome to wear for no gi class!
A little treat can go a long way for motivation. Maybe you can reward yourself with a new rashguard or gi after your first competition or whatever goal you set for yourself. New gear always gets me hyped to train and a compliment on your new purchase will always make you feel good.
Motivation is something that waxes and wanes for all of us. Hopefully after you read this post you’ll get a boost of motivation to keep hitting the mats. I have found that BJJ training has been nothing but a positive in my life. I get (and provide) value by training in the sport. I enjoy the mental and physical aspects of BJJ training, it has improved my health and keeps my mind sharp. If those reasons don’t keep me training, I invest in myself and sport by grabbing some new gear when I meet a goal or hit a milestone.
Jack(son) of all trades, master of none. I see myself as a regular guy seeking enlightenment of the mind, body, and soul. I'm not much more than a vessel of knowledge, here to share with whomever will listen. The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.