Training is hard? Try Losing!


Do you think training is hard? Try losing


Have you ever done anything in your life where you put all of your time and effort into succeeding and you have fallen short?

Everybody has at some point in their lives.

It could have been at school studying for that test and not getting the grade you wanted or applying for a job interview. Sometimes the effort that you put into something is not the same as the results you are getting and this applies especially to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

My instructor always tells people that go to compete that half of the people that go to compete will lose their first match (in a single elimination tournament that is). Losing can’t be avoided in BJJ everybody has lost fights at some point in their competitive careers. You train for weeks for that big tournament. Diet, conditioning, drilling and twice a day rolling and sometimes that is still not enough to even win your first match.

Looking back on that 50% statistic, does it mean that all that training was a waste of time? No it does not at all. If you are looking at competition as a do or die, life or death situation and that you ABSOLUTELY have to win, that does not help you to perform well and puts unnecessary pressure in an already stressful situation. Yes putting in that effort and not winning is terrible but you need to look at what you learned from your competitive experience.



Here are some things that you can look for when competing or preparing to compete for a tournament:

  • What was your preparation like? Did you do all of the necessary work in training that you could have done? What would you change?

  • Analyze your matches. What were your mistakes? What are things you did well?

  • What were you like before you stepped on the mat? Were you warmed up properly? Were you nervous?

These are just a few of the things you should be looking for. What can you improve and LEARN from.  People need to emphasis tournaments as helping you learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You really discover a lot about someone’s personality from the way they compete. Competition is about discovering your strengths and weaknesses as a person and a fighter and that is what you should be targeting when you step on the mat at your next tournament.

 One thing to remember,  it is inevitable that this happens to all athletes. We can’t always win, we want to but it can’t always happen.  Remember this simple phrase though when you compete. You will win or you will learn. Keep training everybody.

Losing Sucks, to a certain extend, but only if you did NOT train or prepare yourself hard enough. If you did, then you have NOTHING to worry about and feel bad for. Try harder next time. Only the STRONG survive. So keep going at it, and Look back only to learn, not to put yourself down. Losing sucks only if you let the negativity of it get to your head. Every Loss has its Lesson.


 Written by: Mike Bryers



Mike Bryers is an active BJJ competitor and Blue belt under Dan Moroney at Bravado Jiu Jitsu/Gracie Woodbridge. He is also a graduate BS.c Honours in kinesiology from York University.

Make sure to check him out on his Blog:

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