Monday, July 9, 2012

Quit Hating!

June 29th was the last day at my job.  It was grant-funded so it only lasted until the end of June, and I am currently looking for another job.  Hopefully in NYC so I can continue to train with Shaolin; they have a good number of girls and smaller guys who train so it's a great training atmosphere for me.

Having time off work has given me a lot of time to think.  I've had a decent amount of changes in my personal and professional life since work has ended has also given me a lot to think about.  One big thing I think that has been holding me back is how I view my opponents and those around me.  And please note that this entry isn't targeted at any one person- I've met people like this at tournaments, at gyms I've trained at, and through friends.

I think some people just enjoy talking smack about other people.  Whenever I'm talking smack, it's fairly obvious that I'm joking around.  However, I constantly hear others put down other teams as well as individuals on those teams.  How can you BLAME someone for winning? Because they're lanky? Flexible? Or my personal favorite "just naturally talented".  Even sandbagging; I understand that sandbagging does occur, but I bet if the same person was promoted after winning, the same people would claim that the instructor promotes too fast!  And then the infamous "oh no, he switched teams! what a traitor!".

Well guess what.  Your complaining does nothing for you, it does nothing for your opponent, and does nothing for your progress.  Your best bet is to focus your own skillset and body type to craft a certain type of game you'll use in competition.  Try working as hard, if not harder, than your competition.  See how difficult it is to advance the position and avoid stalling when you go against a really great competitor.  And regarding switching teams, some people do it for a better training environment, some have tensions between their instructor, and some people just move far away!

I've been accused of giving my opponents too much respect, and that's absolutely been true in the past.  I'd see a big team name attached to them and get intimidated.  I'd assume they trained more than me, that they did extra training and had more time than me to work out and roll.   Now I just see my opponent as someone in my weight class who has the same belt around my waist that I do.  I don't care if they're taller and lanky, short and stocky, or where they train.  Their habits are irrelevant to my progress.  If they beat me, I give them credit for exploiting my weaknesses, but I try and remember what I need to improve on from the match.

But I don't walk around calling those who beat me one trick ponies, stallers, or sandbaggers.  They're people that train jiu jitsu just like I do.  They probably have the same goals as me, like winning at the highest level they can achieve.  I'm not saying I'm trying to be friends with someone I compete against, but there is no point wasting negative energy on someone else when I can be putting that energy towards my own progress.

Anyway, that's my rant for today.  I'm hoping this upset stomach goes away so I can get back to training ASAP!  Since I'm so far from Shaolin's gym (I'd have to pay for a 400 dollar train pass plus the monthly fee to train there), I'll be training with Jason Scully unless another job opportunity in NYC or elsewhere comes my way.  Even so, my training is going to be much more sporadic because of studying and job hunting.

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