Brazilian Jiujitsu Competition Training Log #2: Gameness
Today was officially the first day of training for our competition camp. The past few sessions I've been trying to focus more on gameness.
So what is gameness? The term comes from dog fighting. Although I don't condone this sort of 'sport' if can call it that, I must admit I like the term. A dog with gameness has no quit, it would rather die than surrender. Now in jiujitsu, It's not a life or death situation. Although we simulate killing each other everyday, we understand that we must tap instead of going to sleep from a choke or getting your arm or leg broken. Gameness in the jiujitsu context means more about not giving up when you you feel that you're too tired and every fiber of your being just wants to give the choke up or the arm away. Of course I've had my share of rolls where I just gave the submission because I was too tired but when training for competition this is the first thing I think you need to remove.
I remember when my good friend and coach Keeno was competing in his last tournament here in Cebu before moving to the UK to be with his wife. He was down 5-0 with 30 seconds left in the finals match. Most people would just give up at that point. Keeno instead used all his strength left and not just beat the score but submitted his opponent with a few seconds left. That is gameness.
I feel those parts in competition training where you feel like you want to just quit is where you learn the most. Those times where you are under side-mount of a higher belt and you feel like you don't have anymore strength just to bridge out is where you find your self. The Hyperfly brand trademarked the term "You can't teach heart". I don't necessarily agree, I think you need to put yourself in situations where you think you have no hope and push yourself just a little bit, you might get tapped out, but you know you gave it your all. That's how you teach heart, it's a habit that you can cultivate.
If there's one thing I've learned in my slacker days of my 20s is that you only regret things if you don't give them your all. I used to do it all the time so I could make the excuse if I failed I could say I didn't do a 100% so it didn't count. I realize now that the failure has always been that I didn't give it my all. It's never been about the result, what matters has always been how you do it, because in the in end it's only you that can judge yourself.
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