Welcome to the new section of our website: Taking Care of Your Mind is Jiu-Jitsu! Everything in this section will be based on Jiu-Jitsu with the aim to help with the improvement of our readers on and off the mats.
To kick-start the new section, we chose the theme: ‘The union of our minds with a common goal’. Many of you may have heard the phrase “I met my best friends on the mats” said by many practitioners of the gentle martial art. You must have noticed that senior students are the ones who talk about it most often, haven’t you? And you must have wondered why, right? Perhaps the answer to this question, lies with the magic that happens when we partner with people who all share a common goal.
A friend is a person you’ve established a positive connection with and in their eyes you show that you have a credible image. Many true friendships begin in the Jiu-Jitsu schools, because during the fight, people reveal themselves and show their true personality. As the founder of Gracie Barra Master Carlos Gracie Jr. likes to say: “Nobody can hide their true personality on the mats.” A friend is someone who knows you well and is always willing to assist you, strengthening the bond of the friendship you share.
“Nobody can hide their true personality on the mats” – Carlos Gracie Jr.
All great fighters have teamed up with others to accomplish their goals. Once these superstars understood the value of interdependence, they sought mainly people who followed the same line of thought and had common goals. So, they put together successful teams, oriented towards the common goals of the group and the end result was excellent.
5 lessons we can draw from the mats and apply in life:
1 – All men who’ve performed great deeds have joined with others to accomplish their goals.
2 – The growth of our friends, colleagues and partners is our own growth.
3 – Union and fellowship are key elements for anyone who wants to succeed.
4 – The union of two or more people generates a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.
5 – Control of the mind is necessary so that the ego does not overlap the reason.
Victories and defeats happen according to our ability to manage the teams that exist in our lives. A good Jiu-Jitsu practitioner is one who knows all the rules and all the techniques. An excellent one knows that taking care of the mind is Jiu-Jitsu, never lets his ego and vanity get the better of him, is humble and above all thinks about the future. They see the bigger picture and put the goals of the team before his own.
An exemplary Jiu-Jitsu practitioner understands the power of cooperation; always works in a team and is tireless in achieving the common goals. He knows success and happiness go together, as people learn from one another being part of a team. Take care of your mind, practice Jiu-Jitsu.
“Adversity does not bring out the best or worse in men. It reveals their true self.”
How do you react to the falls you experience in life? How do you cope with failure? There is no magic way to overcome obstacles. However, the ancient martial arts principle of “maximum efficiency with minimum effort” can become a means of dealing with adversity.
A classic example of this principle in martial arts would be achieving victory over an opponent who is physically stronger through the use of technique. In other words, to win without fighting against the opponent’s strength or by even using his power to your own advantage. Victory at the cost of little spent energy.
How can we apply this principle in our daily routine and improve the overall quality of our life?
For example, we can make use of the teachings behind this basic principle of martial arts in the face of adversity or every time we have to deal with a major problem in our lives.
5 tips for dealing more effectively with daily problems:
1) Think before you act : Just as it’s impossible to fight without breathing and keeping calm in Jiu-Jitsu it is also important to avoid applying principles on the mats you are not yet fully capable of understanding. Always think and act according to your own principles.
2) Take a deep breath and think about what you can learn from the situation: Instead of getting angry and short-sighted after a fight is over with you can learn valuable lessons from what happened . When faced with a problem or obstacle on the mats of life, don’t overlook the lesson you’re being taught- there is always one in form of the experience we gain.
3) Seek to improve your defense mechanisms: As your defense techniques in Jiu-Jitsu improve this helps you conserve energy and concentrate on training. On the mats of life regular exercise, meditation and other activities that help you take your mind off the problem will help you solve things quicker and more efficiently.
4) If you are afraid to tackle the problem, be brave and face it: Courage is necessary in Jiu-Jitsu, you can face the best training partners around to challenge your technique and mental strength on the mats of life. It’s important to face all problems because ignoring them will not make them go away. In fact it may even make them worse. Search for courage deep in your soul and face adversity.
5) Ask yourself: Is this the end of the world? The answer almost always will be negative. This too shall pass and a new day will come. Problems are part of everyday life, and life is about embracing change, even though it can be stressful and frightening. Your reaction and response stress in the situation determines how successful you will be in solving the problem. The most important thing when experiencing the downfalls of life are to not allow them to turn into a permanent state.
Remember : despair only worsens the situation as it makes things seem harder and more difficult than they really are. Try to see each adversity as something to learn and evolve from, thus becoming stronger, more experienced and wiser. Believe that things will work out. Do not forget that some things take time and require patience while others cannot be solved without the help of other people, so get to work!
“Being a good fighter means realizing the maximum of your potential, regardless of the circumstances.”
Competing on the mats or in life is mentally and physically challenging for everyone. But how do you give your best when you are under pressure?
You may feel nervous, restless, or crack under the added pressure that requires you to perform at your best. If you let these negative emotions overwhelm you, it would be impossible to put up a good fight.
Some people are afraid of embarrassing themselves or making mistakes while others compare their performance with that of everyone else, which can be damaging to their confidence. And there are times when there is an obligation to impress a coach, friends or relatives.
The fact of the matter is in many cases people are impaired by lack of confidence and have a feeling of doubt in their own abilities.
Below are six tips for simple mental exercises to help you give your best when performing under pressure:
1) Eliminate fear:
Fear is a natural human reaction in risky situations, but how do we eliminate its negative influence on our performance? It is almost impossible to stop feeling fear but we can learn to use this emotion to our advantage. Remember that your opponent is not a rocket scientist; in fact he’s in the same struggle as you. You have similar physical attributes and just like him, you also fought hard to deserve being here.
2) Loosen your game:
Get out of your comfort zone and try evolving your style. Sticking to the same routine in training makes you risk other techniques. If you experience difficulties address them with your teacher, because at the time of training you have a chance to go back and correct your mistakes. As Master Carlos Gracie Jr. says: “Amateurs choose to work out. Champions do the opposite. Search for the toughest opponent and pursue the challenge of facing him. Will power is stronger than fear and vanity.”
3) Avoid comparing yourself to others:
Jiu-jitsu is constantly evolving. Do not get frustrated if you fail to achieve the same results as your training buddy. Whatever the pace you are moving at it’s important to never stop.
4) Focus on the journey, not the outcome:
“Some aspects of your game may be better than others, but always work towards being a versatile fighter. You will only win when you leave your comfort zone. Remember: learning is more important than winning. Victory is a consequence.” ( Mario “Busy” Correa )
5) Remember that perfection is unattainable:
Not even the master of masters is considered perfect. Despite having trained grand fighters, he was always learning himself. This is the way the gentle art is always re-inventing itself.
6) Be confident in your abilities:
Trust is built upon preparation and ongoing training. As you are able to perform a task, technique; acquire a skill or ability, your confidence grows. As your expertise and competence grow, so does your confidence.
Remember, becoming tougher doesn’t occur overnight on the mats; it takes discipline, patience, focus, willpower, facing the challenges and believe in yourself day in and day out.
There are moments in our lives when it seems that everything is going downhill. The feeling of having fought for a long time without advancing is discouraging. At these times giving up might seem tempting, but it is important to focus on the journey rather than the outcome and have perseverance. In the case of the black belt, Hugo Britto, Professor of GB Melbourn , obtaining the title of world champion in 2003 was the ultimate proof that the strength of will can fulfill dreams.
“All it takes to fulfill a dream is to believe in it.”
In 2003 , the world championship of the Confederation of Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu ( IBJJF ) took place in the cradle of the gentle art , the city of Rio de Janeiro. Fighters from all corners of the world had one common goal: to come to Rio and bag the title of world champion. Hugo had the same aim, only the odds seemed to be stacked against him. After becoming champion of the Brazilian Championship for amateurs in 2001 and 2002, Hugo Britto was in a great pace professionally . His close friends Braulio Estima, Luciano Ayres and Leandro Rameh, all students of the Ze Radiola , had achieved victories in the World and Pan American competitions that same year. This was the dream of the GB professor, but the financial support of his parents was insufficient for the realization of his goals.
The days passed and Hugo’s father didn’t help him this time, “At the time my father said he would not help me because he wanted me to concentrate on the entrance exam. I went crying to my Ze Radiola teacher’s house, two days before traveling , saying I couldn’t go. He motivated me, not allowing my dream of being a champion to wither away. He told me not to worry and that he would find a way, and at that moment, I should just focus on training and competition” said the black belt . Upon returning home, Hugo had another surprise. “When I got home my mother looked at me and asked : “Do you really want to go?” I quickly replied that I wanted to go and win. I packed my bags and I went together with 8 other athletes and Ze. There were 3 days of traveling, sleeping in basic places, and having to maintain weight, but the trip was very nice.
Until then what once seemed impossible, had partially resolved itself. But the Hugo’s persistence and determination would have to face yet another obstacle. The day before the world championship, the pairs were announced and the most dreaded thing happened. He heard he had to compete with Andrew, from Araruama. His opponent had beaten GB’s athlete in the final of the PanAmerican. “I lost my sleep. I knew my way to the victory would be difficult but not impossible” said the student of Zé Radiola .
The much anticipated day finally came. The stands of the Tijuca Tennis Club in Rio, were taken by the supporters of the participating teams and our warriors went into battle. “I stepped on the mat , it was a tough fight and in the end I found an advantage. I won and I heard Ze saying “Hugo you will give me a heart attack.” It was still early to celebrate, and he knew it. After five more exciting fights the gold medal was finally around his neck . This experience marked the life of Hugo Britto and led to a life-changing decision. “After this competition I decided I would become an athlete and live off jiu- jitsu.” Today, Hugo Britto is a 1st degree Gracie Barra black belt and owner of schools in the state of North Rio Grande.
At some point in life you go through difficult phases, just as Hugo did. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team of Gracie Barra offers these 4 tips to overcome the obstacles you will find on the way and achieve victory, on the mats and in life.
Tip # 1 : Believe in yourself : Before any other person , be the first to believe in your potential. This will motivate you to overcome any challenge you might face. Recall that motivation is a door that opens from the inside out.
Tip # 2 : Whatever the speed , keep going : You must understand that if it did not happen today, tomorrow is a new day to start over. Keep doing what is necessary to achieve your dream. Your time will come.
Tip # 3 : Success is not the ultimate goal : The process of reaching a goal is comprised of small victories over our former selves. “Speaking of success , I do not envision fame or wealth. Success , for me , is to achieve what one wishes.” (David Nivem)
Tip # 4 : Luck is the result of effort : Have you heard that phrase , “The more I practice, the luckier I get “? Apply it in your life as, as we know – “Fortune favors the bold” ( Virgil )
“Dream, strive, seek, don’t give up on your goals, those who believe, always achieve.”
Have you ever stopped to think what your main goal in life is right now? And on the mats? The art of planning lies not only with the top athletes and leaders of large organizations. It also works for us, ordinary people who are in search of a goal, in search of an accomplishment. We need challenges and achievements so we can stay motivated and feel alive.
Let’s talk about goals in Jiu-Jitsu. Have you defined yours?
Achieving a black belt rank? Becoming state champion? National? Or maybe even World? Train 5 times per week?
Losing weight? Toning your body? Or simply relieving the stress of the daily grind?
Doesn’t matter what your goal is – you must pick one, visualize it and come up with a plan for its realization. Choosing, visualizing and mapping out a plan are important factors to help you to not give up , keep your focus and being successful. Research indicates that all people who have fulfilled their dreams had settled on one main goal, clearly defined and traced it in their minds.
You don’t need to decide what your main goal is straight away, it takes a while. But don’t delegate – ask yourself where you’re going and begin to make the necessary changes and take the required measures to get there.
5 Valuable Tips To Avoid Giving Up:
1. Trust yourself
Believe in yourself. You have to go deep, deep down and ask yourself: “Where am I going? ” Remember that you are the only one that matters. You are the best person to choose your main goal in life.
Rule: Trust yourself and don’t care what other people think.
2. Maintain focus
When we pick out our main goal we must ask ourselves:’ Where do I plan to go with this?’ Many are the reasons that lead us to decide on a particular goal and we should always keep them in mind. Have vision, be strong and stay focused.
Rule: Where do I plan to get with this? Should be your daily mantra.
3. Do not be afraid to fail
We cannot always win, but do not be afraid to take risks. You cannot be paralyzed by fear of failure. If you allow this to happen you will never try hard enough. To try and continue striving you must believe in yourself and your vision and by doing so you will know which is the right thing to do.
Rule: Success will come so don’t be afraid to fail.
4. Do not listen to the pessimists
Do not listen to the negative things people will try to say to you … we hear it all the time. Take all the negativity and turn it into something positive. If you want to succeed, there is absolutely no obstacle you cannot overcome.
Rule: Don’t listen to negative people.
5. Work hard
You will never fail if you work hard enough, if you are persistent and refuse to give up. We always have something good to take from everything that happens to us. If you want to achieve something, there are no shortcuts, only hard work. There are a lot of things you can accomplish if you are persistent. Remember: You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
Rule: Give your best.
A person’s main objective should be chosen with great care, should be written down and placed in a place where you can see it at least once a day. This has a psychological effect on our subconscious mind so that it accepts this purpose as a motto, one project that ultimately dominates our activities in life and guides us step by step to achieve this goal.
Without having a well-defined goal, it is very difficult to accomplish something. If you don’t have a clear direction, it will be difficult to know how to get there. Remember that the next time you step on the mats at Gracie Barra Green Hills.
(To be continued…)