How do you Stay Accountable in Jiu Jitsu?

By Max Pascale

Accountability means taking responsibility and justifying your actions.  Accountability also means facing the truth and understanding and managing your expectations during your Jiu Jitsu training. No one has ever achieved success or mastery in something overnight. Understanding this principle will help you understand how to be accountable. When training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the main component of accountability is just showing up. Whether you are an experienced competitor looking to accomplish success at tournaments or you are a 9-5 working BJJ hobbyist looking to get better, every practitioner of Jiu Jitsu has to be accountable for their training in order to see results.

Accountability or consistency in training can be difficult for most people, especially those who have been training for a long time. As more time passes some practitioners can view training as a chore. It’s important in these moments to remember why you started training and what goals you have for yourself so you can be mindful of them. Accountability doesn't mean that every goal you set for yourself you achieve, but simply having these goals and checking in on their progress with yourself will help you advance. If a goal is not met or you fail, you have to remain accountable and readjust your training/goals.

There are easy traps to fall into when somebody lacks accountability. These people will make excuses for themselves as to why they can’t make time to train or if a tournament goes badly they will blame others instead of looking at themselves and thinking about what they could have done better in order to prepare for that moment.

Another common pitfall is being a new practitioner who over trains and within a short amount of time has burned themselves completely out and quits out of frustration.  These people have great intentions at first, but may not be accountable to their long-term goals. Accountability isn’t only about showing up to train hard. You must also be accountable for your recovery, your diet, and your rest. By practicing accountability in other areas of Jiu Jitsu these responsibilities will translate into different facets of your life as well.

Just like a grocery list your accountability in Jiu Jitsu will be easier to manage when broken down into small pieces. This can help you manage time and effort on a daily basis. Similar to grocery shopping you need a list and a plan of action. You can write down what you aim to get, why you want to get there and how you think you might get there, but if you’re not accountable for finishing each step nothing gets done.

For a simple practice of accountability try to have a goal before you train, maybe a specific technique you want to complete successfully, or have a number of rounds you want to complete by the end of the session. If your sparring time is limited make sure to have sparring partners picked out in your mind before the rolling portion of class or have them verbally commit to rolling two or three rounds down the line. Remember, teammates should be accountable too. You are a teammate too so be accountable to your training partners as it will help your Jiu Jitsu at the same time it is helping theirs. What tips do you have for staying accountable in Jiu Jitsu? Let us know in the comments!