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Writing your Book

Training Jiu Jitsu is a bit like writing a book, I think.

You start with a page. Lay it down on the table and it’s flat, with no perceptible height. Add the second page, and it still doesn’t look like a stack of paper. You’re probably going to have to write 20 pages before it looks like you’ve done any work. You might have a cm or two high of pages now. It starts to look like something, but still not a book. It’s going to be a good while before your work accumulates into anything decent.

Training is the same. No one expects results after a session, but you’d be surprised how many people expect results after 20 sessions, or even less. They get discouraged, they may even quit.

I like the height of the pages metaphor. A single leaf of paper is a tenth of a millimetre. But stack enough of them together and…

You can’t measure improvement by a single training session. It’s only over the course of months or even years that we can measure progress.

That’s really hard for Jiu Jitsu students and coaches. For students, progress can be impossible to see. For coaches, you have to convince people to trust in the process and keep the faith.

But it’s also what makes the process so fascinating and enjoyable. It’s why those moments when you can look back and see the progress are so special, like when you get something measurable like a belt or a stripe, or win a tournament.

See you on the mat,


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