During a lot of the Question and Answer sessions, private conversations, and previous class time I am often asked about proper mindset.  
Now sometimes the question relates to training mode and sometimes the question relates to competition mode, and after some thought I realize that my mindset actually doesn’t change between each of these situation, only my main goal.

So what is my main goal?  That depends largely on the situation I find myself in.  Am at the academy training?  Is this is a competition setting?  Who am I going against?  What am I trying to accomplish?

I am going to interject right now that my mindset definitely changes if this is a self defense situation because that puts me essentially in survival mode, but that will be the topic of a different article.  A key difference between the self-defense scenario and the training/competition scenarios is that I didn’t choose to be place in the self-defense where as I can choose to train and/or compete.

The fact I choose to put myself in this situation is important.  All of the pressure I might feel in that situation is essentially self-imposed.  It is my choice to be in that situation.  And because it is my choice to be in this situation, this gives me the ability to get the most of the training.

  1.  Genuinely appreciate and be grateful for the chance to roll in the first place.  I also try to appreciate my partner / opponent for being there.

 2.  I look at this as a challenge to overcome.  There is a chance I will prevail and there is a chance I will not.  The fact that the outcome is not certain is what makes this worthwhile to me.  I know there is a lot I can do to change the outcome to my liking.  

3.  I am a realist however.  In addition to my own thoughts and action I have to be keenly aware of my opponents moves and intentions.  My safety is always ultimately my own responsibility.

4.  If a thought does come to me during the match, I will acknowledge it without letting it affect me.  My goal is self-mastery, because if I cannot control myself I have no hope of controlling anyone else.

5.  Ultimately I yearn to be in the “zone”.  That ready space where all of my training comes to play and I can be in the moment using the tools in my arsenal.  If I am a black belt it’s not my ability to predict the future but to be in (and ultimately relish) the moment.

6.  I am still a student.  After every session, match or competition I try to analyze what happened, what I did right or wrong make this part of the lesson to do better in the future.  

  Hope you find that useful.  More articles coming through about the mental aspects of Jiu Jitsu.


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