By Christal Montoya

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Jiu Jitsu can be an incredibly rewarding activity and there is potential to learn so much about yourself and what you’re capable of through training and competing. Many of these lessons can be applied to your life off the mats, just as lessons from your day to day life can be applied to how you approach your training. Often, the struggles that lead to these lessons intertwine. Just as life is filled with constant ups and downs, it’s not uncommon to encounter peaks and valleys in your Jiu Jitsu training. There will be days when your Jiu Jitsu clicks and everything flows and you feel like a superstar and there will be those where you can’t help but feel clumsy and none of it makes sense. So how do you deal with this ebb and flow?

The easiest part is when you’re in the middle of an “up” and everything is working. You’re showing up to train and everything is going smoothly. You’re absorbing new information and not only retaining but also applying it to rolling and having success with it. Instead of being the one getting smashed, you’re smashing and submitting. It’s awesome. My advice for when you’re in an upswing is to enjoy it and absorb as much as you can from your training and rolling. Mostly likely your confidence is high at this point so you’re probably more willing to try new techniques and take more risks when rolling and that’s great. Use this confidence to your advantage. While you’re experiencing one of these high points it’s also important to remember that it isn’t necessarily going to last forever and eventually you fall into one of the low points that come from training Jiu Jitsu. This is the hard part; so how do you make the best of a bad situation?

Jiu Jitsu is a sport that demands sacrifice and for the most part what you put into your training is what you get out of it. However, there are times when no matter how much time and effort you’re putting into your training, your results will not match that effort. This can be incredibly frustrating and sometimes the temptation to quit is there. It’s helpful to take a break when the frustration gets too high. This gives you a chance to recharge and figure out what it is you’re expecting to get out of your training. Are you looking to move up to the next belt? Do you want to win a tournament? Are you there because you want to be or does it feel like an obligation? I think it’s also important to be thinking about what attracted you to Jiu Jitsu in the first place and if it’s something you fell in love with, ask yourself why. While you ponder these questions, it’s important to stay active so that when you do return, you’re not totally out of shape. I like to go to yoga because it helps me with my flexibility and is meditative. The break is also helpful because after a few days or maybe a week, you start to miss training and can’t wait to get back on the mats.

Jiu Jitsu, just like life is filled with ups and downs. How you respond to things when they’re going badly will ultimately affect what you get out of your Jiu Jitsu training. Training when you’re frustrated and things aren’t going right is difficult but nothing worth having comes easy and these days will make you appreciate the good days even more. It’s important to remember that both the ups and downs are not permanent and there is something to be learned to from each. How do you deal with the peaks and valleys in Jiu Jitsu? Let us know in the comments!