Taking Risks improves your BJJ
Mistakes and failure are key to learning in BJJ. The quicker you fail, the sooner you learn. (Hopefully) Unfortunately in school, at university, in business and throughout our day, to day lives we are taught to fit in, be risk averse and don’t do anything too crazy.
Fear of failure is the single most limiting belief any human can have. Even though getting choked is a very real consequence of making a mistake on the mats. Provided you learn the cause of your mistake you are now that little bit safer.
Not repeating mistakes is one of the single most important things you can do to improve your Jiu-jitsu, this also goes for the rest your life as a whole.
The essential way to improve at BJJ is trial and error, which is at the heart of the scientific method. You have a hypothesis: I am going to do a single leg take down that my coached just taught me.
The test subject – your opponent is also aware of what you are trying to do so the chances of success are not high.
So you run your experiment and take a risk. You get sprawled on and the result of your experiment is that you get your back taken and you get choked.
Not the desired result!
Does this mean you give up on take downs or do you persist? Every time you try something new or unpracticed you take a risk. You most likely will not be successful, you might look foolish and will possibly get embarrassed.
The fear of failure is what stops all of us from improving. I am making the argument to get risky. If you intend to improve then you have to keep trying new techniques over and over until they work.
Practicing a BJJ technique 10-20 times which is the most you will likely get a chance to do in any given BJJ class is not enough. Then trying to incorporate it into live rolling and having it not workout well is not because the technique is crap. It’s because you are crap at it.
The complex nature of jiu-jitsu skills and techniques requires a massive amount of practice just to get the basic coordination of the movement, let alone finesse and master it to make it effective against another human trying to strangle you.
Practice the technique 200, 500 or 1000 times then you will truly understand the nuances of how to make it work for your body. Every failed experiment gives you feed back and you have learn another way it doesn't work. This brings you closer to the truth and ultimately better BJJ.
If you do not take calculated risks for fear of embarrassment, criticism or injury then you will never grow or learn. Once you realise that mistakes and unsuccessful attempts in this crazy experiment called Jiu-jitsu are key to levelling up then you have to take those risks. Regardless of outcome it's part of the process, "No Risk, No Reward"