15 April 2011

Losing my Aggression in Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian jiu jitsu is usually thought of as the Arte Suave, the gentle art. Aggression has it’s place in the sport, though. The aggression helps in tournaments, it helps you push through, and drive for more. I always thought I was a very aggressive grappler. I pushed the pace, went for techniques, tried whatever I could to win. Even when I was a new white belt I just kind of went for it, not in the crazy way but I kept trying to move, kept trying to do the techniques I was taught. I just went for it.

At tournaments I was even more aggressive. Looking at videos of my past competitions, I was much more aggressive as a young blue belt. I didn’t talk to anyone at the tournament that could have been in my division until after I competed. I had no fear, I wanted to win. I wanted to make everyone proud. I wanted to live up to my expectations. My theory was, what my coach taught me is good technique. I train hard, and I am getting better and better at the techniques. What I have been taught is better than what they have been taught. I am strong, confident, with better conditioning and technique. If I lose, it’s not because they are better than me but because I made the mistake. And I could tell you exactly which technique I did wrong. I remember explaining this to a teammate in Indianapolis once, he gave me a weird look and told me that’s not how I should think, I should make friends and know that I’m gonna get beat at some point by someone better than me.  I’ve made friends with some of the girls I’ve competed against, but I’ve always made sure to not talk to them before competing.

I can still tell you where I went wrong after a match. Sometimes though, I’m at a loss for what I need to do right. My technique is right, but I just can’t do it… My coach Robert says it’s because I’m not being aggressive, I’m not pushing, I’m being too passive.  Honestly that is pretty new. I can remember being aggressive. I can remember the events that made me stop being aggressive, and now that they are gone, I still have that mental block.. Now I have to push to be aggressive. I will be going and training with another team every once and a while. It’s our sister school. I’ve never been here but it is a very different school. Much more aggressive, much rougher. I’ll have to work, be aggressive and fight hard. If this is what I need to do to get my aggressive edge back I will willingly do it.


  1. Sounds a lot like how I started too. I've been having this same issue lately. You'll get through it though.. you've just gotta want it.

  2. "What I have been taught is better than what they have been taught. I am strong, confident, with better conditioning and technique. If I lose, it’s not because they are better than me but because I made the mistake."

    You need some humility since your parents and your teacher forgot to teach you that...I've seen you fight before. Your jiu-jitsu is terrible. I've never seen someone talk so much and act like they are the shit and then put on white belt worthy performances. Why is your ego so big?? You've accomplished nothing in this sport.

  3. BJJ thank you for your opinion. I would like to know where you saw me compete. As for competition it's what I tell myself to stay confident. I very well know Mackenzie Dern is a beter purple belt than me. But if I am competing against her I go in with the thought that my technique is there.

    Why is it bad that i can sit there and look back at tournaments and go yea, that's where I messed up and gave her the chance to win. You're right I haven't been able to accomplish what I want. That was mainly an issue of location and lack of funds. Both of those things have improved for me so I hope to compete more, and do something positive in the sport.

    The awesome part of the internet you can say rude things, then hide behind a name. At least I'm honest and talk about what I love. I will easily talk to anyone who wants to and will admit who I am and to what I say. Thank you for hiding.

  4. Hi, I just started 8 months ago. I'm not aggressive at all. I think I have some mental block to be aggressive and I'm nice all the time. I'm trying to work on that, be more aggressive, but it's very hard for me. I think I have a good technique with cooperative partners, but not when I'm rolling. I love BJJ and I wanna keep doing it. Do you think it's possible to survive without being aggressive enough? Any tips to become more aggressive?