A while ago, a student at Gracie Barra Carlsbad quit not only our school, but training jiu-jitsu altogether. He had trained for a couple of years. He was very studious, constantly asking questions, trying desperately to improve. But one day, he had enough. He was tired of struggling and very distinctly came to us and said he was done. In particular, he was tired of losing all the time against better, stronger and younger opponents. He was tired of constantly falling.
I think back on this student many times. I don’t have any negative feelings towards him and neither should you. I think of him often because I’ve been tempted many times to do the same. I can’t fault someone for doing something I’ve come close to doing myself. I understand. We’ve all had ups and downs in jiu-jitsu, but its particularly hard if it seems like you’ve only had downs all the time.
I know you think you know why I posted the video above, that falling makes only makes us stronger, so we should shut up and train, win or lose. You’d be wrong. I noticed something else in the video. I saw that you need a mentor or a coach to help you stand when you fall. You cannot stand on your own. Each of those athletes succeeded because their mothers helped them stand back up.
And neither can we succeed at jiu-jitsu without the encouragement and extended hand of others when we fall. Let us extend that hand when others are discouraged. Help them back up on their feet, literally and figuratively. Because one day, when you fall, it will be their hand extended to help you back up.