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Beyond the Mat: The Unexpected Life Lessons Gained from Earning My BJJ Blue Belt

I started Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 2021. And after two years of consistent training, I finally earned my BJJ blue belt. I originally took up this martial art to test myself and see what I was capable of. However, since then, I’ve realized that BJJ is so much more than just a combat sport; it’s a way of life. It’s a vehicle for self-improvement, as it supports healthy habits conducive to not only training but also living a healthy and positive lifestyle.

With two years of training experience, I have learned a few interesting life lessons on the mats that—ironically enough—are both applicable and valuable off the mats. Keep reading to learn more.

Life Lessons From Earning My BJJ Blue Belt

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an incredible sport; in fact, it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular martial arts in the world. And for good reason. It keeps you focused, disciplined, and the lessons you learn from spending time on the mats translate well to real-life applications. So in no particular order, here are 5 life lessons I’ve learned from earning my BJJ blue belt.

1. You Can’t Shortcut Success

Regardless of what you’re aiming at in life, it’s going to take time. As a matter of fact, it will most likely take longer than you think it will. Most people quit on their goals because they lack the grit and persistence to follow through till the end. But here’s the deal…

If earning my BJJ blue belt has taught me anything, it’s that there are no shortcuts to success. It took me two years of training 3 to 5 days a week to achieve this goal. That’s two years of:

  • Getting choked out
  • My body being twisted and contorted
  • My face getting smashed into the mats
  • Being humbled almost every day I step foot in my gym

I paid the price; as a result, I earned the accolade. And even though my BJJ journey is only just getting started—as I’m constantly learning, growing, and being humbled on the mats—earning my BJJ blue belt has truly helped me to realize that are no shortcuts to success for anything worthwhile in life.

2. Perseverance is King

When I started training in BJJ, everything was new and exciting. It seemed like this hobby would never lose its novelty. However, like anything else, soon, the hard days arrived; you know what I’m talking about—the days when that new hobby or passion project goes from novel and exciting to challenging and inconvenient.

That’s what happened to me with Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Training went from fun and enlivening to difficult and arduous. These challenging times came in numerous forms:

  • Cold, snowy days
  • Painful injuries
  • Difficulty learning new techniques
  • Getting smashed by opponents
  • Exhaustion from day-to-day life, etc.

And with each one of the challenging moments, I pushed through and showed up anyway. Now, why does this matter?

It matters because jiu-jitsu is hard; in fact, it’s the hardest martial art in the world to learn. As a result, those who stick around need to possess a certain quality: perseverance.

The ability to keep showing, regardless of circumstances, is invaluable for this combat sport. But you know what else perseverance is essential for? Life…

Whether you’re trying to get in shape, earn a promotion at work, or achieve any other goal in your life, perseverance is the main ingredient that will get you to where you want to be.

3. Leave the Ego at the Door

As a freshly minted blue belt, I’m not going to lie, it feels good to have somewhat of a foundation underneath me. Things are tough as a white belt just starting in this sport—you don’t know what you don’t know. As a result, you feel like you’re stumbling around in a dark room blindfolded.

You’re constantly getting beat up, smashed, and tossed around. And the worst part? There’s nothing you can do about it—you’re literally helpless.

As such, you have to be okay with sucking. You have to leave your ego at the door and embrace the process of constant defeat. However, if you stick with it, soon, you’ll start seeing success (sometimes even against higher belt ranks).

Your skills develop, you begin moving better, your timing improves, you add new techniques and submissions into your game, etc. But this can only happen when you check that ego and welcome being an amateur.

And this idea is applicable to anything you want to do in life.

When you’re starting something new, you have to embrace the student mentality. You must see the beginning stages as essential steps to reaching your objectives; they are your foundation! Without them, you have no solid ground to stand on; you become weak and fragile.

So drop the ego and learn to embrace the suck.

Key Takeaways From Earning My BJJ Blue Belt

The main things you can take away from this write-up are to work hard, stay consistent, and be humble. These simple guidelines for life will keep you on the right track. Moreover, they will help you develop the qualities needed for success in any goal, objective, or undertaking. If you’re looking for more tips, tactics, and techniques for your self-improvement journey, be sure to subscribe to the Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter below.

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