Do I just suck?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by roninmaster, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. roninmaster

    roninmaster be like water

    So I know its common to think this when you're still in the middle of your white belt, but I'm not; I've been doing BJJ for 8 years ( 9 in February ) and a blue belt of 6, and still feel like I suck. I've watched and still see guys come in off the streets and pass me up in few months vs the YEARS I've put into this art. We have two white belts who both started within the last 10 months and compete a lot who put me through hell and can tap me.

    I just feel like I've must have missed something to be so bad at 8 years. I've thought " Maybe I should just commit to being more a of a purist in my Jiujitsu " and only worked old-school Helio Gracie stuff,( My school is a more self-defense first, sport second kind of school ) then " Maybe I'm wrong and should focus on more modern sporty stuff ." Then "maybe I have just poor strength and conditioning and I'd be better if I increased that." I even switched schools to my current one 3 years ago because they train a lot harder than my previous... lather, rinse, repeat. I know I'm venting but I've never had anything in my life I loved as much as BJJ that I felt my progression was so incredibly slow in. I literally don't know how to get any better it seems like any idea I've had has flopped and I'm still getting wrecked.
  2. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    What's holding you back do you think. In analysing your rolls, if you were to list the things you would improve to get that success you're missing; what would they be ?
    Is it about technique or something like aggression/ mindset, not being 'relaxed' enough etc.

    Have you spoken to your teacher(s) or maybe a longtime/ trusted classmate for advice. Don't give up man, sometimes the best breakthroughs come at our lowest points..
  3. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    Did you try out your plans for long enough, that it could work?

    Or maybe you're trying too much at the same time?
    As in: Working on many different techniques, different positions, etc. at once?

    Sadly I don't do BJJ but these are some points, that could happen in lots of arts.
    Too much attention for part a) and not enough for part b) so to speak.

    For example: My throws are too weak, whereas other things are at least okay.
    I know, I need to pay more attention to throws again to not get even worse.

    Maybe it's something like this with you?
    Like... I don't know, too much focus on submission, and not enough on position.
    Or too much playing with armbars, end not enough attention to guard passing.

    I'm sure, you get the idea of what I mean :oops:
  4. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Generic advise:
    BJJ is hard, that's why is good, if it were easy, everyone would do it.

    Feelgood advise:
    Really it's the losing, reflection and adjustments which make you good, if your not losing, your not getting better.

    Realistic advise:
    Your jumped schools a bit, so your Base skillet and learning is probably a bit all over the shop, it'll take a while to adjust.
    Your new school also trains super hard, it'll also take a while to adjust to this, your just gonna have to lose a bit, actively think a lot, and get some cardiovascular and lifting in so you can still actively work whilst your in inferior positions, give it a few months and you'll be good to go.
  5. Vince Millett

    Vince Millett Haec manus inimica tyrannis MAP 2017 Gold Award

    One thing I have had to learn is to trust in one fact: If you keep turning up, you will get better.

    Unless you are unique in all humankind, this truth applies to you. There is no secret to getting better at BJJ. It is just mat time and consistency.

    So what if some newbies rapidly pass your (apparent) ability? It happens. Most of them will drop out in a few months anyway but you'll still be training. You win.

    Who are you competing against? I'd suggest you should only compare yourself with yourself. Are you better than you were a year ago? You may not feel like you are - but you are, if you have been training.

    If you are still sometimes using moves or techniques that you haven't done before, then you are getting better. If you're not doing something new now and then, the answer is simple. Try something new. Then you are improving.

    Another problem can be that your teammates are learning the exact same stuff you are and will progress just as you do, so you may not be aware of your own progress. It's why I like occasionally competing but, more often, going to open mat sessions at other clubs (less stressful than competing!). Because you don't know your sparring partner's game and they don't know yours, it's a great way to find out how you're really doing. You might well be pleasantly surprised.
    David Harrison likes this.
  6. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    What are your hours like and how consistent are you? In terms of drilling vs sparring.
  7. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I feel the same way. Granted due to shift work my attendance is dismal, this year has probably been my most productive in years.
    However, I know it's my mediocre attendance record and I don't beat myself up too much. I do think about "Oooh, I might miss training due to this shift etc" and it's been a while since I thought of training in that way. Usually, for the past few years its been "If I train on that day, I wont be able to work".

    Balance is key and I really should follow my own advice.
  8. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I can empathise from when I trained I was constantly being tapped by people training far less than me. My two questions would be

    1. Have you ever filmed your rolls?

    2. You say you changed your approach to training and technique, but how do you do it?
    What I'm getting at with this one, is I had a period where I completely flipped in terms of skill and got comparatively very good in a very short space of time. What did that for me was firstly a lot of 1-1 time with a higher level belt who was a great, great teacher. But something he did that helped me a lot was he taught me philosophies. So for example, before I knew maybe 10 ways someone could pass my guard, and I had an answer for most of them. Dude came along and taught me simply "to pass they need to get their body perpendicular. If you keep their head parallel to yours they can't pass." Boom, got passed a lot less. Got taught an armbar just relies on pulling against the little finger, started getting armbars all over the place. Once I understood mechanics within simple philosophies I did a lot better because I wasn't learning a million techniques and trying to do all of them, I just had to remember simple concepts.

    Dunno if that'll help in the slightest, but its what worked for me.
    Dead_pool, Latikos and Vince Millett like this.
  9. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    I don't train in grappling unfortunately, but that's pretty much the way my favorite teacher teaches: He explains how things work and therefore we learn the principles behind it doesn't only show the techniques.
    So if you can be bothered and take it seriously enough, you don't just copy what he shows (we have some of those of course as well), but you also learn the mechanics.

    That why I love it, when teachers explain how something works; some of mine mainly do that once you ask, but they all can explain that.
    I have met coaches though, that can't do that; luckily none of mine, as I think it's pretty much a shame if you teach something but can't explain it.
  10. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    My instructor isn't a big advocate of teaching concepts but I love them. Rather than concepts I treat them as "rule of thumb" or "generally useful rule".

    Things like always keep your elbows close to your body, top position is about owning space etc etc.
  11. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    That surprises me with Rick actually
  12. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I can kinda get that. I don't think its a great way to teach people from the start because then people just focus on the concepts but unless you have a good fundamental understanding it could be a hindrance. Like concepts worked for me in bjj because I was comfortable enough grappling and knew enough technique that if I just think "keep someone parallel" I know how to do that intuitively and my body can move to do it. Or like I was very good at catching people with a butterfly sweep, even straight on my back with just a flick of my foot, because I'd trained enough to be able to feel when people were vulnerable to it. I'm not sure new people could. I also know concepts for wall wrestling in mma like 'just keep your head above theirs' but I still suck at that so I guess its not a magic cure.
  13. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    don't be so hard on yourself. are you happy training? or not?
    Dead_pool likes this.
  14. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    honestly it may just be that your skill set isnt as rounded as you think.
    a friend and i started out training no-gi with a purple belt and our game was weak as hell for a long time, we switched gym and it got better but due to gyms closing down or moving we kept switching instructors and our game wasnt well rounded.

    but we went on to train in other cities and in some places we were pretty good, in others we were noobish because of an unrounded game. eventually my friend stuck at it with one instructor and he got promoted. the instructor even admitted he was the longest serving student there and threw a party for him. my friend still isnt great and sometimes gets crushed by total beginners but he's better than he used to be and is able to put concepts to work and put up a decent fight.

    the main thing is - are you better than you were yesterday? has your knowledge increased?
    Dead_pool likes this.
  15. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    The obvious answer is talk to your coach.

    Take a long look at your game and what areas are lacking and what areas are strong.
    Ask your coach where they think you need work.
    Develop a plan around that including drilling, sparring into or from that position and maybe a private or two.

    Rinse repeat.
    Dead_pool likes this.

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