Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Garbage Time

Jerry Seinfeld, in a 2017 interview about fatherhood:

I don’t need any special days. I mean they’re all special. We spend a lot of time together and I enjoy every second of it. Again, I’m a believer in the ordinary and the mundane. These guys that talk about “quality time” – I always find that a little sad when they say, “We have quality time.” I don’t want quality time. I want the garbage time. That’s what I like. You just see them in their room reading a comic book and you get to kind of watch that for a minute, or a bowl of Cheerios at 11 o’clock at night when they’re not even supposed to be up. The garbage, that’s what I love.

While he’s referring to parenting, it’s the best approach to just about everything, including jiu-jitsu.

I don’t expect to have my mind blown by a new technique taught by my instructors every time I go to class, or expect a breakthrough, or expect to “win” a bunch of rounds.1 That’s not what makes a good day of training for me.

And when I teach class, while I try to be effective and entertaining, I know sometimes my lessons don’t land great for everyone.

Go to class when you don’t feel like it. Be present. Learn to focus when it’s hard to focus. Learn to be more interested when you think the lesson is not interesting.

Most of life is spent on the plateau. And that especially goes for training.

  1. Coincidentally, just this morning, while drilling a technique I learned years ago, my partner helped me figure something out that *was* a breakthrough. ↩︎

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