If you’ve been practicing Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, you have likely already met one if not many frustrations. You find yourself asking questions such as “am I even making progress?”, “am I getting worse?”, “will Jiu Jitsu ever become easier?” and many other natural responses to the puzzlement that accompanies the arduous endeavor of pursuing top level Jiu Jitsu.
Don’t feel like you suck, even if you do and you probably do, because such reactions are only natural when you are learning something hard and particularly when you are developing a skill you do not possess.
You see, black belts encounter the same frustrations that befall most white belts and if not, they are likely not making the kind of progress that will help them get to the next level. In addition they are oftentimes more equipped to deal with the failures and frustrations that come with reaching a high level of Jiu Jitsu. Keep in mind, achieving a black belt is not an easy thing for many and beating skilled practitioners is even harder.
If you are struggling, try to identify what exactly is presenting such trouble. For example you may be having difficulty preventing your guard from being passed, which will require you to break down at which points exactly, of the situation, you are losing. When you set out to rectify your errors, you will likely become even more aware of the deficiencies in your game as you struggle to accomplish your sub-goals of the larger task of “not getting your guard passed”. This is a good thing, stay committed and you will no doubt overcome these weak points in time.
Over time you rather than seeing “frustrations” you will begin to see problems that need to be solved as you go about deconstructing each specific task (getting on top, defending submission attempts and so forth) until all the elements that will grant you success are there.
The important thing to keep in mind is just how pain is your body making you aware that something is not right, so too are “frustrations” highlighting problems that exist within your game. Like pain also, if you ignore it, it will not fix itself and you may even eventually cave and give in. But if you, instead use it to identify ways to improve, you will find yourself overcoming many of the humps we all face that can make or break us as both athletes and hobbyists.