Being honest with yourself might be one of the hardest things to do in Jiu-Jitsu and life. Everyone has an ego. It is easy to tell yourself where you are good. It is easy to lie to yourself and think well I almost had them. I almost did this or that. When you lost by submission or on points. That type of thinking protects your ego but it cripples your ability to improve.
The hard reality of training is can you remember the points in the match? The little details? If the answer is no. Then you do not know what happened in the match. And you can't think about what you could have or should have done to improve the match.
Why does this matter? Because if I can't remember the little things in the match. Then I am going to continue to make the same mistakes. Improving the small mistakes today and the next 365 days is how I am going to make significant changes to my game. Failing to see the faults in the match or training means you cannot fix them.
I watch guys train and then ask them about their match. I am always surprised with how many people can't tell you details about there last match. Or if they do it might not be accurate. Improvement happens on the match. But improvement also can come after self reflection and analyzation later. Being honest and taking the time to focus on your shortcomings is the key to self improvement. In everything not just Jiu-Jitsu. It is always difficult, and no one wants to focus on shortcomings. Facing the difficult road in life is what allows you to grow as a person. I hope 2, 5, 10 years from now I’m a better version of myself. I would rather battle my ego in order to grow than make the same mistakes forever.
I would rather know what my mistakes are. So I can try to make improvements not only in Jiu-Jitsu but in the rest of my life. I am very aware that my own athleticism is not the same as it was at 39 years old.
The same as I am not the same athlete I was at 25 years old when I was 39. So I lift weights, work on my flexibility, and focus on technique. Versus athletic movements for my own training. I will never be as athletic as I once was. But I am more knowledgeable in Jiu-Jitsu then I have ever been.
In a one off match I would do very well against a younger version of myself in a Jiu-Jitsu match. But with each match I can feel myself not recovering as much as I use to in years past. So even though I would probably beat 30 year old Travis in a Match. But if we met (old Travis vs Younger Travis) in the finals after 5 or 6 matches. I think the younger version of myself would beat the older version. Age is a real think and time always wins.
Being honest with yourself is never easy. Taking a long hard look at ourselves is hard. You might not like what you find. But once you do and you are ready to make real changes. Making changes when you actually know who you are is the key.
I encourage everyone to practice being honest with themselves. Taking a deeper look at even your own Jiu-Jitsu and Jiu-Jitsu training. This way you can work on making improvements to your own training and Jiu-Jitsu progress.
See you on the mat!