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Ask yourself this:

Why would you think you would submit a higher belt or even a fellow white belt?

Why would you get frustrated that you were submitted by a higher belt or even a veteran white belt?

Believe it or not, you've been handed a very special intangible gift.

The gift of perspective.

Up until you walked onto the mats and were folded into a pretzel, you most likely thought that you'd have a red hot go at this grappling thing. 

Maybe you've had a few "scraps" or you have an older brother you finally stood up to. 

This is your prospective view.

A prospective view is expecting to be a specified thing in the future.

In this case, you probably thought it was like the UFC game or footy with an extended tackle. 

Maybe not and you just predicted that you just weren't that bad...

Now never knowing when the day would come that you would need to test your grappling or combat ability, you continued to live with the prospect that you could hold your own.

And what happened?

Your prospective view was misaligned with the reality that you simply cannot defeat people with the power of your ego or misdirected self-confidence. 

True perspective is aligning your ability with your mindset and conducting yourself accordingly. 

Are black belts the most reserved and humble people in the room because they can smoke anyone within said room?


Or is it also that they know from personal experience that their skill and ego are the one and the same?

To tell you the truth, I'd hazard a guess that it's a bit of both and some other factors included like leading by example etc.

By definition, your ego is:

"... the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity..."

The reason you might see guys flip out when they lose in BJJ is that they have the ideal from a very young age that they toughness, muscle and guts get you a long way. 

Perspective, in regards to your ego, is how aligned your ego is with reality.

Reality, in this case, is your ability to take another human and physically manipulate them into surrender with very, very little theory or practical training. 

 And, again, within this reality, you found that your prospective view was not in line with reality which crushed your ego...


Now it is in certainly not ok to have very little success in grappling and show up day in and day out expecting to have very little success because eventually, you will stop showing up at all.

Rather, you should read through this concise blog on your mental approach to "sucking" here.

Essentially it comes down to the way you "frame" your way of thinking about success.

Try and think of your ability as a picture and the way you think about yourself, grappling ability or otherwise, as the frame around it. 

You could have a crude picture within and a gorgeous frame that steals the show.

Be more realistic yet kinder to yourself and you'll find that you're not entitled to win every time.

The more you roll, the more you'll find this to be exceptionally self-evident. 

Jake Anderson is a Bachelor of Sport Development and Mixed Martial Arts commentator with over 18 years of combined training in various Martial Arts and tertiary education in health & sport. His blogs on the foundations of health and martial arts are dedicated to the communication and education of leading a holistically fulfilling life.


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