Your most important weapon
Many are aware of the fact that the mind is your most powerful tool. In BJJ you learn that the position of your opponents head greatly determines what their body is able to do both offensively and defensively speaking. In the Kids Jiu Jitsu classes we teach them that the body follows the mind, not the other way around. In sports you will hear coaches and athletes say “it’s 90 percent mental”. We can all agree that a good mindset is beneficial in athletics, in relationships, in business and in life. The question is, how do we go about developing it?
I will use an example of what my sensei Xande Ribeiro does to prepare the day of the tournament. His response more or less, he doesn’t. You heard that right, the most winningest IBJJF and ADCC Jiu Jitsu competitor who was also successful in MMA does not prepare the day of the fight. Because you do not prepare your mental toughness, your winning mentality or champion’s attitude the day of. It is honed day in and day out in all the little decisions we make throughout our lives.
His classic example of this is tying your belt. Your lungs might be screaming, your heart pounding, grips burning but you are never too tired to take a breath and tie your belt. The person you are daily is the person who shows up to battle. If you lie, cheat and steal, the person who wants the easy way out will show up when the going gets tough.
There’s no special routine that makes a champion different on game day, but rather every second spent going the extra mile even when seemingly meaningless. It takes toughness to have good posture when tired, be kind when you’re in a bad mood. These are all struggles that relate to how a champion maintains his cool through adversity. If you let the small things get to you on a daily basis, imagine what will happen when the big day comes. In one of my favorite movies Man on Fire, the young girl Pita asks Denzel Washington what it means to be tough more or less. His response, “there’s no tough, just trained and untrained”. In the same way, every day is training. So get to it!