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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Article: How the Ego Effects Performance

Leave Your Ego at The Door
Author: Jason Scully

Itís very important that you make sure you check your ego at the door from your first day grappling. If you donít control your ego, you may not realize it, but itíll slow down your learning progress and improvement substantially.

Here are some things that you may experience if you donít learn how to control your ego.
  • Youíll get frustrated and angry. Many times this happens with people who feel they should ďalreadyĒ do well in grappling and not get submitted or controlled. If that were the case then you wouldnít need to take any classes.
  • Youíll think youíre not learning anything because every time your ego gets in the way youíll get frustrated, lose focus, and not pick up what is being taught as well.
  • You wonít enjoy your training. The more you get mad at yourself or your partners due to your ego, the less and less youíll have fun training. This usually leads to individuals quitting something they may have really enjoyed and benefited from in the future.
  • Youíll get injured. Having an ego is one of the most common ways to get injured. Why is that, you may ask? This is because youíre stubborn. You refuse to tap and you donít want to accept a ďlossĒ in training. This type of thinking is very chaotic and will lead to injuries very fast.
  • Youíll injure youíre training partners. The same goes for you injuring your training partners. The worst-case scenario you can have, is two people grappling together who donít have their egos in check. This is a disaster waiting to happen. One person may refuse to tap, while the other may refuse to release a submission that they know they have applied correctly. Whatís the result? An injured training partner whether itís you or the other person.
  • Youíre training partners may not want to train with you. People who have egos on the mat are usually the ones that most grappling members avoid. The reason for this is because they donít want to get injured or deal with rolling in a competitive manner when they just want to get some good relaxed training in for the day.
There are many ways that you can control your ego and enjoy your training from the beginning. The sooner you do, the better off youíll be.

Ways you can control your ego are:
  • Accept that you will get submitted. Itís going to happen. If you donít ever get submitted then you probably donít need to train in grappling. Youíre already good. The chances of this really happening are slim to none, but that would be the case. Know that you will get submitted eventually and do the best you can to learn from it and try to ensure that you will make it much harder for your training partner to get you again in the same thing. This way youíll actually be learning.
  • Make sure you tap to avoid injury. The other end of the spectrum is actually tapping when someone has a submission sunk in correctly. Not tapping only leads to you getting injured or you possibly looking silly because you are left unconscious in front of everyone. Just tap if they have it, and improve from there.
  • Accept that there are people who are better then you. Once again if there arenít people who are better then you when you first start grappling, you either need to find another gym to train at or youíre a special type of person who already is good at grappling (probably not going to happen though). The sooner you realize that many of your training partners have put the time in and have more technical knowledge then you, the quicker youíll improve and will be able to feed off of the knowledge they can provide.
  • Accept that if you are new you wonít know anything about grappling and the more you train, the more youíll learn. Most new students start with a clean slate. The more you train and the less you have an ego the quicker youíll fill up your database of techniques and your grappling will improve every training session.
  • Donít get mad or frustrated. This will only hold you back and decrease your learning rate. The more you get frustrated the less time you will actually spend on learning. You are focusing more on being upset that you ďlostĒ then actually being excited that you have something to learn and improve upon. You have many more days to train in the future, so try not to spend any of those training session aggravated with yourself or your partner because itíll only end up making that current training session a waste.
  • Take every situation as a learning experience because thatís just what it is. When an instructor showís you a move or concept, learn from it. When you get submitted learn from it. When you submit someone, learn from it. When you escape, learn from it. When you compete, learn from it.
  • Donít be vengeful. Just because someone got the best of you or tapped you doesnít mean that you have to get revenge on them. Training isnít a competition or a battle; itís a learning tool.
  • Donít sulk. Donít go home with your head down and upset that you didnít do well or you got tapped out. Sulking isnít a healthy attitude. It doesnít lead to anything good or productive. There isnít any need to feel down about your training and then bring it home with you. Training is supposed to be fun and a stress reliever. You shouldnít feel any pressure when you train. You shouldnít feel nervous when you train. You should be excited about going to class because you know youíre going to get a great workout, learn some great things, and have fun. Regardless of how you performed in class, know that you still did something and still got something out of it in some way.
  • Donít repeat your actions. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, chances are youíre going to experience the same result. If you keep experiencing the same result then itís going to lead to the ego kicking in and then frustration and anger begins. Try your best to change your actions. That way you can experience different things related to the same situation. By doing that, youíll eventually figure out an answer to the problem and then youíre well on your way to improving your grappling.
The benefits of training in an ego-free manner are:
  • Itíll keep you from getting injured.
  • Youíll learn much faster.
  • Youíll have training partners that will like training with you.
  • Youíll ensure that you train in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • People will be comfortable asking you questions and answering your questions.
  • Youíll want to train more and youíre instructor will be even more willing to help you.
As you can see from reading this section, it doesnít pay to have an ego in grappling. Having an ego will only lead to negative effects in the long run and will hinder both your learning and it will crush the positive experiences you can gain from participating in grappling. Remember to have fun, relax your shoulders, and be calm when training. Everyone including yourself will benefit from it.

Thanks for reading,

Central New Jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) - Dedicated 100% to The Improvement of Your Grappling Performance!

Last edited by jasculs; 02-01-2009 at 07:45 PM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-02-2009, 04:11 AM
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Great article, I agree 100%.

When I first started Judo I had no ego and flew through the ranks with fantastic technique, knowledge and a wider range then most beginners.

As time went on I started to develop an ego which my technique deteriorated and I generally became sloppy and didn't care what happened in a fight I would go with it. If someone rolled me, I wouldn't urgently try to avoid it, I would go with it.

It has been a while since this happened but I am only just getting back to form. I am truly disappointed in myself for letting this happen.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 04:41 PM
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Great article. This is very true. There are a few guys that I despise training against because they don't know how to take it easy. I understand that you want to get the tap but they also need to know that we are all teammates. I'm extra nice when I train, I always shake the guys hand and I always thank them. If I catch him I will still tell them good job and if they want to know, I will explain how I got them. This isn't always reciprocated and I wish it was. It's so much more enjoyable training with someone that you know will not be vengeful if you win.
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