People have different reasons for training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Some might be masters in other forms of martial arts and want to gain some experience in ground grappling to help round out their curriculum. Others might be aspiring MMA fighters. Then you have the “weekend warriors.” These are the people who have careers, family, etc. They enjoy the training immensely but struggle to fit it in their busy schedule. Regardless, all of the above have made the commitment to learn the martial art to some degree. However, if your goal is to achieve a black belt, you need to approach your training with a different mindset. You have to be 100 percent committed to achieving your goal and make every effort to ensure that your decisions never deviate from it. As with any goal, there will be some sacrifice, but these sacrifices are required to bring you closer to your goal. These sacrifices, such as following a healthy diet, wind up becoming permanent changes that improve the quality of your life. Your body is a machine, and the fuel you put in it determines how it will perform under physical and mental stress. A clean diet, lots of water, and even some vitamins and supplements will help your performance on the mat. It will only take a few strenuous training sessions for you to realize that you need to make changes if you indulge in vices such as smoking or alcohol and even a poor diet. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with a little cheating now and then, but a hamburger should be a treat rather than a regular part of your everyday diet. Making the commitment is hard because there are no consequences for doing nothing. Many potential students tell me, “I will start next month.” A month later, they give me the same answer. A year passes and they finally start training. It's usually at this point that they tell me, “I wish I started this a year ago.” Don’t let time pass you by. If you are really interested, then make the commitment. You will be glad you did. About the Author: Jay Zeballos is a Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2009 gold-medalist black belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He has been training with him for more than a decade. Zeballos is also the co-author of The Grappler's Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques. His most recent book with Machado is The Grappler's Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense.
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