Here’s the secret to getting good at Jiu-Jitsu: stop making excuses and train!


by James Eke

I had a great martial arts teacher in my youth who said that the greatest hinderance to people becoming amazing in the martial arts was infection by the bubonic laziness.

It has been close to 30 years since he told me this and the depth of his understanding of both human nature and the path to excellence has amazed me as I’ve grown more mature and have seen how all of us act. I have to say that I must have listened to his advice because I haven’t stopped training since childhood, even when everything else seemed conspiring against me I somehow kept going and going and going.

The bubonic laziness is like a plague, it catches and infects you when you least expect it and once it takes hold it is hard to shake. Most people don’t even realize they are infected.

Maybe reading this you’ll suddenly say, “oh no, I have it myself, what the heck am I going to do?” Well, good news, there is hope for you.

The bubonic laziness infection takes many forms. Sometimes it is simple unadulterated lethargy. You simply sit there. Or more likely lounge there. In bed. The couch. The kitchen table. Probably staring at your smart phone, tablet or computer…maybe even reading this. You think to yourself that tomorrow you’ll go and train. Or maybe next week. Next month. But just like the dishes in the sink or the laundry that is piling up, you put it off.

Other times the bubonic laziness is something you tell yourself. Maybe you say you will train when you feel better. Maybe you say you will train when you aren’t so tired. Maybe you say you will train when you aren’t so busy.

The thing with bubonic laziness is that it is pervasive. It latches onto your thoughts and your actions and can even spread to those around you and everything else in your life.

Here is the thing. When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, or anything worthwhile you need to stop making excuses.

You don’t think you are so great; train.

You don’t think you are in good enough shape; train.

You think you don’t have time; train.

You think you are too sore; train.

Most of the excuses we give ourselves are ridiculous. If you enjoy doing something you will make the time to do it if you get rid of the ability to listen to our own bubonic laziness driven excuse train.

Need more time in the day? Learn time management. Get up earlier. Make time.

Feel like everyone else is getting better than you? Hit the mats more. Focus your efforts. Examine what your game is and adjust.

Feeling like the couch is calling you? Tell it to shut up and go train.

If you think about it, Jiu-Jitsu takes about an hour out of your day on training nights. Don’t you think that you deserve that? One hour for yourself to get awesome? One hour to be you? One hour to learn life-changing things? One hour to become better? One hour to become amazing?

Nobody expects anyone to be on the mats every single day. Life has other things that come up and we can’t be everywhere at the same time but Jiu-Jitsu is one of those things that is worth it to devote as much time as we can to mastery of it. The reason is simple when you do the math, everything that Jiu-Jitsu is, destroys the virus that carries the bubonic laziness. When we take Jiu-Jitsu into our daily lives we become immune to the bubonic laziness. We become Jiu-Jitsu.

Anything in this life worth doing — and Jiu-Jitsu is definitely worth doing — is worth doing properly. We need to stop making excuses and get on the mats. You have an injury? Well that is your Jiu-Jitsu, wrap it up and train being aware of it. You are busy with work? Well realize that your job is not your life and Jiu-Jitsu will improve your life so make the time and get in and train. You don’t have a clean Gi? Well stop procrastinating and do your laundry or better yet, pick up another Gi and make sure you always have one to wear. You are so very tired? Well train being tired, that’s your Jiu-Jitsu today.

Life is about choices not about excuses — make good ones.

Getting the picture? If you want to live an amazing life you have to stop with the excuses. Nobody who ever did anything amazing with their lives ever got on the bubonic laziness train and rode it. At least not for long.

There is only one excuse for not getting in and hitting the mats and that is being infectious with an actual illness. You have a cold, flu, cold sore, zombie plague or whatever, well then stay away until you aren’t going to get everyone else sick. Otherwise, get on the mats.

At Jean Jacques Machado Jiu Jitsu Victoria you have the opportunity to learn an amazing BJJ in a lineage that is mind-blowing, from here in Victoria, BC. You have the chance to become not just incredible at Jiu-Jitsu but incredible in life from everything that you will gain — stop making excuses.




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