It’s true in life and it’s true in jiu-jitsu…
Some days on the mat are going to be wonderful. Nobody will be able to pass your guard, you’ll sweep people left and right, and you’ll tap everyone out!
You were just the hammer! Huzzah!!
What I would like to share with you on those days comes from Ancient Rome.
When a victorious general (like Caesar) returned from a successful campaign he was awarded what was called ‘a triumph’. This was a gigantic parade for, and celebration of, that general. He got to ride in a chariot through the streets of Rome and it was the highest honour the Senate and people of Rome could bestow.
But to stop it all from going to his head there was also a slave behind him in the chariot, whispering in his ear, saying, “Remember, you are mortal.”
So take the days that you are the hammer with a grain of salt! This too shall pass.
Other days on the mat will be downright terrible. You’ll spend the entire class on the bottom, getting smashed, and tapping out more often than a bongo drum player.
Welcome to being the nail…
When this happens to you don’t burn your gi in disgust. And don’t take up golf!
Instead repeat to yourself another saying, from Japan this time, that goes, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
When you get smashed pick yourself up, brush yourself off, try to figure out what went wrong, and then get to work on fixing it!
Having your ego repeatedly crushed is one of the central features of jiu-jitsu and it keeps you humble, hungry, and always trying to improve.
I recently did a rant on my podcast on this topic…
If you want to listen to it then grab episode 185 about being both the hammer and the nail on the podcast player that you already have on your phone!
For example, if you have an iPhone then it’s the purple app with the antenna-like thing in it; just click the Apple Podcasts link below to go to the right place and hit ‘subscribe’.
Here are the links to find the podcast on various players – today’s episode is number 185…
- Apple Podcasts (the purple app on your iPhone)
- Google Podcasts (the new google podcast app)
- Spotify (it’s free)
- Google Play
Or you can just stream the audio here:
Good luck with your training