I’d like to touch on my theories about training, and what the school is meant to be.
For me, the School, and classmates are not meant to be a “fight club”. I didn’t start doing this to learn how to beat people up, nor do I get some masochistic glee from being beat on. I started doing this because I admired fighters and there has always been a part of me that wanted to be able to do what they do.
I have come to grips with the fact that no matter how good I get at this, there will always be someone who is better than I am. Some guys/girls possess natural gifts, and others have a wealth of experience gained from time spent toiling upward in the art. I think about that fact, and a light bulb pops on in my head.
There is just one person I know for sure I can always be better than, and that person is myself.
I look at the development of my game, and I see how far I have come along this road. Looking over everything I realize that I have a lot of people to thank., not just the coaches, and Professors, but each and every student that ever showed me something I didn’t know, or took the time to explain what he/she had just done to position themselves for a choke/triangle/armbar/sweep/escape/omoplata/insert submission here/. I have come to realize that we are there to learn from each other as much as we are there to learn from our coaches, and professors.
We get to practice the art with each other, and the best way to thank someone for that opportunity is to share what you learned from them with them. It is sort of a pay-it-forward theory that elevates everyone.
As I mentioned, I have no illusions of being better than anyone regardless of rank, but I do know one thing: The Fighter wearing my Gi today is a hell of a lot better than the fighter that wore my Gi that first day on the mat, and I am only better thanks to everyone I have trained with in that school.
This was the development of my new mantra- I don’t train to be better than you. I train to be better than me. I realize that sounds like some sort of eastern altruism, but that isn’t it at all. Really it is accepting the fact that I have so much to learn, and that each and every class contains a multitude of lessons that only serve to make me a better me. I’m glad for it.
If I get better, and I pay it forward to help others get better than not only am I a better fighter, but the people I train with will also become better fighters. Win/lose it makes no difference as long as we continue to evolve together and help each other grow.
I wonder what other people think when they report to the mat? Do they measure their progress as i do? What is your mindset?
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