sean williams bjj

Why Do People Quit BJJ?

On the Grappling Central podcast, Renzo Gracie black belt Shawn Williams gave his experienced opinion:

From what I’ve seen in the past I think primarily people quit training because they feel like they are not getting any better. There is a sense of frustration. And they feel like, “Aww man, I feel like I’m not getting better. People that I’m training with are better than me. Or I train with that guy and he is now better than me.”

They don’t look at it as literally a lifelong journey. They compare themselves with others, and I think that is a real big problem. If you took belts out of the equation..I love belts. I’m not the biggest fan of stripes to be honest but I love belts. We didn’t have stripes when I came up.

But I think that the age in which we live in, people need instant gratification. Everything is at our thumbs. You want something you get can it on Amazon. Here in LA you can get it in like two hours. Instant.

That doesn’t happen with martial arts. It doesn’t happen. It takes time. And it takes a lot of time…If the stress of “That guy is better than me!” and add that into the amount of time that it takes you to learn and get better at jiu-jitsu, it just isn’t a good thing.

I think if more people had the open mind of just, “You know what? I just want to get better and be the best that I can.” And every day, day in and day out, they make good use of their time. They come in, they learn, they train, they don’t sit on the wall, they don’t rest unless you absolutely need to rest. You just make full use of the time that you are on the mat. And then you go home and you reflect on it. You reflect on your training.

Not comparing yourself to your training partners in a negative mindset. Understanding that achieving a high level of skill is a long, painstaking process are keys to staying in jiu-jitsu. Progress comes from sustained and applied effort over the long haul.

I’ll leave you with my favorite John Wooden quote on comparing yourself to others.

Never try to be better than someone else. Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be. Success is the by-product of that preparation.

John Wooden