Updated: Oct 14, 2020

The practice of Jiu Jitsu is the cultivation of resolve. Jiu Jitsu presents limitless problem sets and each one has an optimal solution. Our training partners offer resistance against our will. Every moment we meet adversity as we strive to achieve our intended result. Constantly facing this difficulty in the most productive way ensures the development of a character capable of facing any worldly circumstance.

We each come prepackaged with certain propensities and abilities. There are certain activities we are meant to do and others we are not. At 5’8” and mediocre athleticism, I was never meant to play professional sports which require the size, speed, and strength of premier athletes.

But Jiu Jitsu is different. There is no set way to practice Jiu Jitsu. We are afforded limitless variables and styles of gameplay with which to fashion a game which best suits our abilities and disposition. If we have the requisite level of athleticism and intelligence to practice this art, then our success in its proper application is possible.

There exists a game in which you can excel. And if there doesn’t, you are free to invent one. Jiu Jitsu’s perfection is not limited by our imperfection.

This means that we can each achieve a high level of mastery unique to our experience within the confines of our subjective strengths and weaknesses. If we are born slow, then we can cultivate a game that does not require speed. The same holds true with every other physical characteristic. We are finally free to play free of our weakness. This leaves no room for self-doubt or blaming circumstance, as the lot we inherit is exactly what is needed for our optimal performance.

Mastery is accessible in Jiu Jitsu in a way it is not in the rest of our lives. Our physical limitations become our strengths, the foundation of our particular game for which we are best suited. For many, we have found the first arena in which we can be truly masterful.

If we work hard, intelligently, and over extended duration, we can achieve the mastery of which only we are capable. Success is guaranteed because success is possible. We are free to come as close to our perfection as we wish.

This true potential for success creates a resolve that only comes from certainty, a confidence in walking a path for which only you are fashioned. When we realize this certainty of success in grappling, we come to understand its prevalence in the rest of our lives.

We each possess a rare combination of strengths and weaknesses, but for most of us, a general competency of most skills is possible. Adequacy is achievable through mindful repetition.

A certain amount of reps separates us from our ability to perform a task well. Sometimes we are fashioned to do that task, and we only need a handful of experiences to have a firm grasp of the skill. Other times, competency eludes us, and we require hundreds of reps to achieve a basic level of skill. No matter where we lie on this continuum, a functional level of success is possible, assuming we meet our requisite reps.

In the same way our mastery is ensured in grappling through continued effort, the same holds true for the rest of our humanity. Our success may come soon, or in years, but it will come if we stay the course, applying consistent, intelligent effort.

The resolve which we show in Jiu Jitsu, leading to our unique form of mastery, is the same resolve which allows us to achieve skill in any other area of our lives.

Our opportunity for success in grappling reveals an opportunity for success in all the activities. I’m not good at that. Nonsense. You have a high number of repetitions necessary to achieve mastery, and you have yet to achieve that number. Meet that number and you’ll find your skill.

We aren’t “bad” at anything. We just haven’t practiced enough. Skill development requires a resolve which frees us of that detrimental internal dialogue and allows us to collect the necessary reps to achieve the skill of which we are capable.

The resolve that we have learned from pushing through adversity on the mats translates everywhere else. The day’s load lightens as we strengthen our discipline muscles.


If you want to read Chris’s latest book on personal development, check it out here.

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