Five days from now i’ll be back in Irvine California competing at the Pan American Championship, a tournament I have done every year starting in 2013. Now getting there isn’t always easy, as an athelete with no sponsors I must pay my way to get to a competition with zero prize money. A competition that I haven’t placed at sense the first year I did it in 2013. You might wonder why I’d commit so much of my time to a persuit with a relativly small reward, it’s because I love the process, irreguardless of the results. Competition is the ulimate reflection of your efforts as an athelete. A metaphor that I enjoy is the arch of John Jones’s carrer. Long story short is that if your winning everything is ok.
At first he was able to win championship level fights while not having a healthy lifestyle, no change was needed because he was getting the result he desired with his current habits. Eventually his life outside the octagon began to reflect inside and a change was needed. While he still has yet to suffer a loss as a consiquence it is clear at this point that his starpower and earning potential have taken huge hits as a result of his actions. I see paralels with my own journey in Jiu Jitsu. (Not saying i’ll never have the talent or abilities of an athelete like Jones). I began competing after three months of competing and was winning a majority of competitions at white and blue making so so many mistakes. I had no conditioning program, terrible gameplans (like plan A being a submisson from the bottom of side control). There was no change necessitated because I was winning. Then when I got to purple belt it became very clear I would have no sucsess with my current aproach, failure demanded adaptation.
Throughout the years I’ve made just about every mistake you can make, everything from missing weight, missing my flight, forgetting my belt and over or under estimating my opponent. I learned from all these and have never made the same mistake twice. Something Rafael Lovato JR once told me is that all your failures add up to your successes, and I carry that with me always as a reassurance that every failure is a lesson. This process has improved my quality of life, cutting out bad habits and replacing them with good ones. Now getting fired up for your big competition in eight weeks and sticking to your routine is one thing, but where it really starts to transcend into making yourself a better person is incorporating all your “in camp” habits into your every day lifestyle. This way I know that each time I compete I am the best version of myself, I am not hesitant to test myself at Pans this weekend. As always I am glad to answer any questions you may have, and a free two week trial of my coaching service is available to all my friends and teammates.