Jiu-Jitsu Letter


Fun. Safe. Those are the most important factors for longevity in training. Then we have good instruction. However, if the vibe is good, the commute is tolerable, and you’re safe from injury, mediocre instruction is somewhat acceptable.

You must be able to take on an autodidact mentality when it comes to jiu-jitsu. A lot of what you learn is only half of the equation. You have to actually practice and stress test what you’ve learned to truly understand it. So as long as you’re on the mat, you can usually overcome poor instruction. Learn to ask questions, even if only to yourself or a trusted training partner, and work to find the answer yourself.

Where bad instruction is hard to overcome is if you’re the type to put all your trust in an instructor, and never stop to question what you’re learning.

Just as many adults are ruled by a seven-year-old, you can be ruled by a white belt. What I mean is, you’ve formed some beliefs as a child (or white belt), and kept them through adulthood (or blue, purple, whatever), and you may have never questioned them. For example, we as children learned about the USDA’s original, grain-heavy food pyramid. In the last twenty years, it’s been revealed that it was wrong and it was actually funded by the sugar and grain industry.1

“I’ve always done it this way” is a clue you may need to think about what you’re doing. Question everything you’ve ever learned.

  1. Read Death by Food Pyramid, and/or Good Calories, Bad Calories↩︎

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