Well, it’s that time of the year when we make a mad scramble to make a resolution for 2016. Unfortunately, according to Forbes Magazine, only EIGHT percent of the people that make a resolution actually succeed. That means 92% FAIL!!
So let’s make a plan for 2016 to ditch the resolution and come up with a list of TEN goals we would like to accomplish. They don’t need to be astronomical to the point of climbing Mount Everest or travel the world. Start small, but make sure they are goals that we have to make an effort to accomplish. It’s easier to make small changes to work towards a goal and soon it becomes a way of life: whether it’s small changes to our diet, skipping the chips and going with fruit or cutting back on the nights out to the bar to help eliminate our debt.
A great way to start working towards our goals is to start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and here are a few reasons why:
As we know, life is not fair. It will throw a monkey wrench into our plans, whether it is a shift change at work or our 12-year old vehicle needing $800 in repairs after we just paid off one of our credit cards. Individuals that train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) are better prepared to deal with these life challenges because of what they have learned on the mats. The challenges that come with training techniques, drilling them over and over, then attempting to apply them during sparring and even in competition; having the ability to avoid panic, to breathe and realize we can deal with the challenges and become better because of them.
To achieve our goals we need to be able to FOCUS, have PATIENCE, we need to be HUMBLE, understand we need to take RISKS while not being AFRAID of failure; Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will help develop and improve those areas.
BJJ Builds Focus
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has numerous techniques as well as numerous ways to get into the positions to execute each technique which requires more focus than most other martial art disciplines. BJJ practitioners will see the same technique several times over the course of a week and as time goes by and they review the technique later in their training, they may pick up some different element that is required to be successful when they see it broken down again. Movements that appear to be ONE fluid motion can be broken down to over a dozen small intricacies that make the difference between success and failure.
The more we train and work on breaking down the techniques into their smaller pieces, we will forget about the worries we had before coming to the gym. Being able to focus all of our time and energy into our training will also spillover into our lives off the mats. Whether we are assigned to a large project at work with a short deadline or we are simply spending time with our family. By having the ability to focus and live in the moment, we will be able to enjoy our lives; where we will be happier at work and at home.
BJJ Develops Patience
Some people will tell you that BJJ can be frustrating. Those are the people that are looking for instant gratification. Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is fun and when we’re surrounded with teammates who want us to succeed, training becomes easy. While the moves may seem like they are leaps and bounds ahead of our skill sets, simply remember that nobody is expected to run before they are able to crawl. Attending multiple classes during the week, drilling the techniques with our teammates and asking questions are just a few ways to improve our abilities.
An important part of training is being a great partner. Give our teammates realistic resistance when they are drilling the technique so they can develop faster. Now we don’t need to stuff their technique every time, but we also don’t just want to “give them” the technique that they are working on. This will allow them to be better prepared when it is time for them to spar with teammates or apply these skills in a real self-defense situation.
Patience doesn’t come overnight. It may take days, months, and sometimes even years before we can execute the technique while sparring with our teammates. Keep in mind that while we are working on executing the technique, our teammate is working on a counter to that move. This is why it is important to be able to change our moves; chaining several moves together so we can quickly go from one to the next.
Keep drilling and sparring as repetition is the mother of learning.
BJJ Teaches Humility
After our classes, we offer an open mat where teammates work on implementing the techniques that we recently reviewed in the class or other techniques from previous classes. These are optional, but they are the biggest eye opener to our development. Being able to do techniques well in class is one thing, but there in nothing like being able to chain the techniques that you know one right after another on an opponent. Remember that no matter how strong we are or how technical, there will always be someone better than us and that is okay, because we just need to be better than the person we were yesterday.
Humility is the toughest lesson one can learn from BJJ. During our training we will get tapped out more times that we will care to count but as the time goes by, we start to tap less. Yes, we will still be tapping because we will be training with people who are also improving and may simply be better than us. Remember, these are our teammates and they want us to get better and we are getting better while building character through this process.
Keep this in mind: when we tap during training, we are simply acknowledging that we have learned something. Now, it’s not a simple as “don’t touch the hot stove again” as we will continue to make similar mistakes to end up in the same submission or bad position. As we focus on our training, we will start to learn what these mistakes are and how to avoid them.
How well we survive these difficult times makes all the difference in our training. Humility teaches us how to respect our teammates (co-workers, friends and family), instructors (Direct Supervisor, Upper Management) and our opponents (competitors in your field or colleague applying for the same promotion). Because of this, we become more open to learning and become more appreciative of criticism in our daily lives.
Remember that SLOW progress is still PROGRESS!
BJJ Teaches Us To Take Risks
The more we practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the more comfortable we become with taking risks. Just like an infant who is using the couch to pull themselves up and gearing up to take their first step, there is a big reward for taking that risk. In the beginning, the child will plant the foot then fall down, but the child crawls back to the couch and repeats the movements. It what SEEMS like a blink of an eye, the child is walking. Just as we took risks learning how to walk, there are great rewards for taking risks and because of our training on the mats, we are ready to accept the consequences of those risks.
BJJ Helps Us Deal With Fear
Learning how to keep calm during extreme situations is a skill we’ll develop from practicing BJJ. Whether we’re sparring or doing drills, we’ll always be subject to bad situations. It’s up to us to figure out how to use the techniques in our tool box wisely in order to escape.
In BJJ we will find ourselves in bad situations, whether we’re mounted, stuck in side control while attempting to avoid the submission or we have someone on our back. Practicing defense is one of the most difficult aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but it is vital to our learning process. Knowing that our opponent is putting 100% effort in his technique while we’re simply struggling to survive is undoubtedly unpleasant and using technique against him just feels completely impossible.
The way we deal with these situations in class can be applied to the way we deal with compromising situations in the real world. Instead of flailing our arms about and panicking, we should stay calm and think first before doing anything rash. This is a great mindset to have OFF the mats and can help you avoid some embarrassing moments while helping you stay calm during conversations that are escalating into a potential nightmare for Human Resources.
BJJ Forces You to Evolve, To Get Better, and To Seek Out Other Options
When we train BJJ, we know that there are no excuses on the mat. No matter if our teammate is young or old, male or female — everyone is equal as soon as we shake hands and bump fists. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will test our mental and physical strength every time we step on the mats while continually pushing us out of our comfort zone.
BJJ has a way to separate the strong willed from the weak, forcing everyone that trains to dig deep and execute their next move. If we continue to make the same mistakes, we will continue to find ourselves in the same bad situations. As we progress in our training, we start learning how to escape these bad situations by not tapping as quickly. Soon the number of taps we make during a training session have been reduced and over time, we start to see how to avoiding the mistakes so we do not have to worry about escaping. We simply have learned not to go down that road while looking for another option in our BJJ tool box.
Just remember that when when we find ourselves in a bad situation and we have gone through our BJJ tool box, but we are still in a bad position; simply staying there for the next three minutes doesn’t help any of us get better. Simply tap, shake hands, bump fists and get ready to roll again, because that’s all part of the learning process. Repetition is the mother of learning and to in order to execute at your best, you need to train your weaknesses so that when you are put into a tough spot, you know you’ll still be able to succeed.
Back To the Goals For 2016…
Having the ability to FOCUS, being HUMBLE, having PATIENCE, understanding you need to take RISKS while not being AFRAID of failure are all vital tools that will help you achieve the goals that you will set for 2016.
Just don’t think about your goals, INK it! Let everyone know about them and hold yourself accountable to your list.
Here are my goals for 2016:
1. 24 Family Nights – no work, no emails, social media, no work distractions. Just me and my family playing games, going bowling, out to dinner, etc.
2. Help my youngest daughter who will be 5 in April to ride a two-wheeler
3. Eliminate my credit card debt (this has been on my list for the past 4 years and I’m down to ONE credit card – SLOW progress IS progress)
4. Pass my DDP YOGA Certification Tests
5. Inspire 10 people to make positive changes in their lives
6. 12 Date Nights with my wife
7. Lunch with my daughters at school twice a month
8. Read 12 Books
9. After taking the past year off, compete in 4 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournaments in 2016
10. Earn my Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Let Frequency Martial Arts help you achieve your GOALS in 2016!!