Two Most Important BJJ Rules: 1. Show Up, 2. Don’t Quit

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BJJ show up

If you would need to remember something that is top-basic in your jiu-jitsu journey — it’s these two rules. You don’t need anything else in principle. From the myriad of concepts, techniques, and ideas associated with BJJ… a man can sometimes get confused and lose a compass. Everything becomes too complex, too complicated, like a sea that we will never swim across, never come to “the other shore”.

When you’re in the middle of a storm, at these moments, it’s good to get together and “Go back to the basics”, the most essential and the most powerful ones at the same time. Back to what is valid in all times and under all circumstances.

In the BJJ universe that is: 1) show up, and 2) do not quit.

When one day an inevitable crisis arises in your training life, you just need to remember these two simple rules and be fanatically loyal to them. These two rules contain everything you need.

Maybe – actually, probably – you’ve heard them before, but there’s never enough of repetition. What is more important though, is to apply that knowledge when the situation requires it.

Let us explain the power of both rules, so that you remember it somewhere in the back of your mind and recall when you need it.

  1. Show up
  2. Don’t quit

1. To show up at the training session is everything. It’s like showing up at a job today. It’s the most basic thing that is required for long term success. Some days you don’t feel motivated, but still if you go… suddenly all of the powers come to you as the training session progresses, and in the end, you are so glad that you came and worked hard. You feel rewarded for it. Positive pride and contentment sets in. You didn’t just learn something new and catch some detail here and there that you haven’t previously known, but you also tested all of it and tried to apply it with your body. That’s something that would have never happened if you stayed at home, no matter how great instructional videos or BJJ/MMA fights you were learning from.

Furthermore, as someone wise noticed, “one ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory“. Especially in martial arts. Bruce Lee’s timeless quote is:

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Showing up at a training session helps with this aspect of learning. It’s sometimes boring and we would have rather stayed at home, especially after a hard day at work, but this is the most certain way to fulfill your long-term goals in jiu-jitsu.

If you start to skip sessions and skip showing up, the probability of it becoming a habit is very high, and consequently, the probability of taking even longer pauses is also high. It’s a domino effect, where one thing leads to another. Worst of all, your willpower starts to decline in regards to training jiu-jitsu, and fears that we try to conquer while training jiu-jitsu start to raise their ugly heads even more. Fears of not being good enough, not having a good technique, fears of being choked by lower belts or the people who joined the academy after us, fears that everyone else “has it” and knows something we don’t know… etc… it’s a downward spiral.

Don’t miss your classes. Miss them only if you are certain that you need to. And we all know deep down in our hearts, when is it that we really can’t go, and when we only pretend we can’t go.

2. Don’t quit rule… Well, just don’t quit BJJ. 🙂 It’s as simple as that.

Actually, it’s not that simple. It requires some higher goals that you set for yourself because just training your body or learning new techniques is not enough in the long run. You need to get some added/higher value from it, in order to return again and again.

Some of the reasons people train jiu-jitsu is developing self-confidence, self-defense skills, athleticism and strength of the body, acquiring new friends, competing, testing yourself under pressure etc.

I strongly believe that Jiu-jitsu is like a mini-religion. Actually, it’s a highly efficient system of self-development, of growing your potential in every field of your life. It’s because what you learn psychologically in BJJ can be applied to almost anything else in your life. Almost every black belt will confirm this. Take a look at what Joe Rogan has to say about jiu-jitsu, and how it has changed his life:

Joe Rogan quote - Train Jiu-Jitsu

Also, drop an eye at the super-powerful Youtube video of coach Tom Davey from Adelaide, Australia, about the same topic – how BJJ will change your life:

In the end, take a look at the motivational video of Chael Sonnen speaking to some wrestling students. Think of him what you like, but Chael is a true example of what can be achieved by developing our willpower.

“Every night, guys will find 100 reasons not to go to practice.  You’ve got to find that one reason, why you want to be here.  One reason to walk through those doors.  Then, an hour later its all done, and you got a little bit better…” – Chael Sonnen