Training has finished. I’m sitting on the end of the mats, sweat running down my face, staring blankly at the floor. I just got smashed by about 3 guys in a row. I was choked, passed, swept; repeatedly. For a few minutes, I am pretty disappointed in myself. I mean, my passing game had been coming along nicely before this.
But then I start to realise something. It’s good to get smashed. Let’s look at it from the opposite angle. You’ve asked some guy to roll and you have absolutely dominated him. You swept, passed, taken his back, and submitted him over and over. But now honestly, what did you get out of that roll? Probably not much else than a slight ego boost and the right to tell your training buddies “Yeah I smashed him, I’m awesome”. Sure, you pulled off some nice transitions, but did you actually learn anything. After all, that’s what rolling is. It’s just another way of learning.
Now compare that to a roll you’ve had where you were beaten petty heavily. Did that same pass that you smashed the other guy with work so well this time? Chances are it didn’t. This guy is good, he found pockets of space you didn’t even know you were leaving, and he absolutely punished you for it. But that’s what’s so good! Before rolling with him you didn’t even know you were making that mistake. Now you do. He has just done you a huge favour by showing this mistake to you. Here is where your mentality comes in to it, it’s up to you if you want to accept the lesson he is giving to you or not. You can either brush it off, make up some excuse, and keep making that same mistake; or alternatively swallow that ego, acknowledge the mistake, and work hard to fix it. If you choose the second frame of thinking, using my own personal experience, you will become a lot better, a lot faster, than someone who chooses the first option.
To be up there with the best, you need to be able to match it with the best, so there’s no point training obliviously to the holes in your game if you want to get better! So next time you’ve just been swept or passed, or, like me, you have just finished getting beaten up, don’t let your emotions get in the way. Sit and think about where it was you went wrong, or even better, ask the guy who just owned you where it was you went wrong and work with him to fix it. Before you know it you will be a lot more successful than that guy who chooses to brush off his mistakes, and continues to make those same ones, but still thinks he is awesome since he can smash the more inexperienced guys at the gym.