😅 Ego in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 😅

😅 Ego in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 😅
👇🏽 Ego in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - A short overview by Nick Bilton: 👇🏽

It is commonplace in the BJJ community to hear the phrase “leave your ego at the door”. Many gyms and coaches preach the idea that training is most effective when it is done without an ego; one should disconnect from their desire to win or be the best in the training room if they seek to make real progress. Almost every gym has some form of this philosophy in their gym and, while this idea is one that carries a lot of truth, there are many contradictions and confusions that come
with it. This article will seek to clarify what this notion might mean, and explain what value we can take from it.

So what is the ego? Put simply, the ego generally refers to a persons self-esteem or confidence, however in the context of BJJ, it is often synonymous with the part of a person self-esteem that desires success in the training room (sometimes above all else).

The first major contradiction with the rejection of the ego, is that training BJJ is often ego-boosting.
The increased fitness and ability to defend oneself that come with training will often empower students. Furthermore, the social connections and learning of new skills that are intertwined with the BJJ journey further the benefits of the sport for any individual and the self-esteem. BJJ and MMA legend Renzo Gracie famously said, “I’m not in the business of selling martial arts, but of selling confidence”, and it is this increase in confidence that will naturally increase a persons ego.
Of course, this is not a bad thing. In fact, this type of personal growth is one of the best things about the Jiu-Jitsu journey.

Another contradiction with “leaving your ego at the door” is that often the desire to be great at something — to win and gain success — drives students into consistent training and striving for their goals. Without an ego to produce this drive, what will keep you training? Of course the easy answer to the motivation problem is discipline. But why be disciplined if improvement, mastery and
success is not the goal? And is the root of discipline not a healthy self-esteem and desire to improve? Why invest effort into something for which you are impartial to? Is it wrong and egotistical to desire greatness in a martial discipline, and to want to see the fruits of your labour in this process?

Yet, there seem to be some very good reasons for wanting to reduce ego in a gym. If winning rounds, getting submissions and being the best in the room were the primary goals of every student, it might be fair to say that training might not be the nicest place. Injuries would skyrocket, gym friendships would be harder to form and the longevity of the gym and its students would be reduced.

All of these contradictions and questions seem to confuse the usefulness behind simply “leaving your ego at the door”. So then, what place does the ego have in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training?

Well, the answer to these queries is obviously not to attempt and remove ego from gyms entirely, nor is it to let the ego loose. Instead, this essential energy must be reframed and repurposed.
Rather than rejecting people bringing their egos into training, we should embrace the very thing that seeks to improve and reach for greatness. These energies should be trained like any other aspect of the body and mind. A healthy ego should focus solely on what really matters in training — the mastery of grappling in a safe environment. Realising that the true success lies away from what the untrained ego seeks for is the paradigm shift that must occur in students; prioritising the
correct application of a technique rather than just dominating a round, or valuing the ability to safely and beneficially train with anyone, rather than just people who fit ones style and intensity.

So next time you see or hear someone disparaging the ego, or allowing it to run wild and untamed, remember that neither provide adequate respect for it. Instead we must incorporate the mastery of our egos into our training as an essential element for longevity, mastery and overall success.
Previous post Next post