Beyond the Technique: Discipline

Monday, January 23, 2017

 

It's Saturday night and I'm out with my friends - I really want to stay longer, but jiu-jitsu training starts at 10:30 the next morning. If I'm going to make it to class with enough energy to train and spar, I know I can't linger. I've got to get home and get some rest to make the best of the next morning's class. Making that decision takes discipline. 

 

I've got a long day ahead and I'll have to head straight to training from work which means I need to be prepared for class beforehand. Being prepared means packing my jiu-jitsu bag the night before, making sure I've got my gi, mouthguard, rashguard, belt, gloves, and so forth. Preparing ahead of time takes discipline. 

 

I've been working on a technique for weeks now and although I know I need more practice before I move on, I'm getting impatient. I want to practice something new, but I know I haven't given the current technique enough time and focus. Sticking to the necessary drills to be able to execute a technique with confidence takes discipline. 

 

I sometimes get overwhelmed in class with the amount of details related to a technique. I wish I could just absorb it all without giving it much thought, but I can't. I know I want to learn and remember the material, but this means I need to watch training videos, take notes during class, review those notes afterwards, and keep practicing the technique. Putting in that extra time takes discipline. 

 

I've gone over to a friend's house for dinner and although what they're serving looks delicious, I know that it won't make me feel good in the morning. I know that if I want to have a good training session, then it'll be better for me to avoid the foods that won't have me at my best. Saying 'no, thank you' takes discipline. 

 

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When it comes to (any type of) training, discipline is a key ingredient to success. By deciding to practice jiu-jitsu, I have committed to putting in time and effort towards my training. However, my involvement goes beyond learning just the techniques. 

 

The desire to do well in practice means that I have had to be disciplined off the mats as well. I need to get enough rest to ensure I have a good training session. I need to pack my training bag the night before so that I am ready to go. I need to make healthy eating choices so that I feel my best on the mats. 

 

These are all adjustments I need to make to my daily routine in order for me to pursue my training the best way possible. 

 

I know to some it may seem like I'm sacrificing a lot or taking it too seriously. If I wasn't so passionate about making progress and improving, then I might have agreed. However, doing well during drilling and sparring sessions is important to me and it makes me feel happy. If it didn't, then I probably wouldn't be so conscious of the impact my choices and actions have off the mats. 

 

I think the enthusiasm that is linked to any hobby goes through peaks and valleys. In the beginning, you're full of excitement and everything is about the new experience. When I first started jiu-jitsu, I was exactly like that. I would spend a lot of time reading and exploring the world of jiu-jitsu. I found, however, that the same level of enthusiasm was not easy to sustain for a long period of time. It's not that my love for jiu-jitsu has waned -- it's just that ... life happens. Family obligations, work demands, social engagements -- they all need your attention. You realize that you have to find some level of balance - and that requires discipline. Beyond the techniques, focusing on my jiu-jitsu training has also taught me how to make decisions in my life as a whole in a much more disciplined manner.

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