Recently while listening to Steven Covey’s audio book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People I was introduced to the concept of P/PC Balance, or Production/Production Capacity balance. The idea is that we need to strike a balance between the amount of energy and focus we put into production right now, and the amount of energy and focus we invest in doing the things it takes to ensure we will continue to see production in the future.
In business, it is necessary to invest in capital improvement, employee compensation, training, surplus inventory, etc. One could shift their focus entirely to production, ignoring the need to reinvest and restock inventory, and for a short period see a dramatic increase in production and profit. This of course, would ultimately lead to the failure of the business.
This concept is applicable to almost any pursuit in life including Jiu-Jitsu. There are things you can focus on to see results right now ie. going to class, attending seminars, participating in tournaments, studying video, etc. and then there are things off the mat outside of the dojo that must be attended to for continued progress in Jiu-Jitsu long term. There must be a balance between these two areas of focus.
Maybe the most important off the mat investments we can make is in the maintenance of our bodies. One does not have to be a health nut or stud athlete to be good a Jiu-Jitsu–but if you do not take care of your body, your pursuit of Jiu-Jitsu will inevitably come to an unfortunate end. Spending additional time and money on quality food and meal preparation will not make you better at Jiu-Jitsu today and spending an extra hour a week stretching/doing yoga will not make you better at Jiu-Jitsu today… but these are the kinds of investments that will allow you to pursue Jiu-Jitsu long term. Also, along these lines, when it comes to training Jiu-Jitsu sometimes less is more. Training 5 plus days a week will most likely result in rapid gains–but for many of us it will also result in over training which leads to nagging ongoing overuse injuries, fatigue, and burnout.
For many people, having your family in your corner is a key element in the long-term pursuit of Jiu-Jitsu. I know that’s true for me. My kids are grown, but I still value and need the support of my wife. I strategically choose which classes I’m going to attend so as not to be taking away too much time from her. I could just go to class whenever I wanted with no regards to her, but it would only take a few weeks before I got the “it’s me or Jiu-Jitsu” ultimatum. It’s easy to jokingly say “I sure will miss her”, but the reality is my Jiu-Jitsu would be, at least temporarily, derailed. So making sure that she gets the time she needs is ultimately an investment in my ability to progress on the mats long term.
I’ve seen young people struggle to balance their pursuit of education and career with their pursuit of Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve known a few who put some things on hold to train Jiu-Jitsu. That might be fine if you’re one of the few people who have a legitimate shot at being a top-level competitor or successful gym owner. But for most of us, Jiu-Jitsu will be a lifelong part time hobby that requires ongoing financial investment. Putting your career or education before Jiu-Jitsu now may put you in a position in 10 years to comfortably afford to travel for tournaments, attend seminars, and take private lessons with high-level instructors.
Each person’s Jiu-Jitsu Journey is different. The off the mat investments that you need to make may be completely different than mine, but the fact remains, you will need to invest in “production capacity” if you want to continue to see “production” or progress.
Here is the question submitted via email.
I am fairly new to BJJ but not to martial arts in general. BJJ has always enticed me because of the fluid flow of the art plus the confidence and humility of its practitioners. I have mainly trained in striking arts and I have to say the brotherhood that I see between the students in Jiu-jitsu is so different. With that being said there is a lot of intimidation. I have never been one to have the most self confidence and I hope that BJJ will change that, which I believe it will. My question is getting over the fear, for lack of a better word, of rolling with folks. It’s not that I am “afraid” to do it but it’s very defeating sometimes when almost instantly you feel weak and beaten as soon as you start. I enjoy drilling and working technique but when we roll at the end of class it kind of gets to me. Is that to be expected? I know talking with other students they have basically said it kind of sucks when you first start but just to keep doing it and it will get better. I know that with continued work it will get better but how do I address the apprehension now? I do know giving up is not an option for me because I have given up in the past on things. Not because it was tough but because I think my self esteem gets the better of me. I know I have to keep pushing because I really want to develop my self not only physically but mentally too.
Thanks for your time. Keep up the great work.
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can save your life in a fight. There might be a day when circumstances lead you to a place you probably should not be. In this place you might end up dealing with someone who intends to harm you. My friend, if this happens to you BJJ can indeed save your life.
Fortunately the odds of you ending up in a life and death confrontation in this day and age are pretty slim. The odds of you overeating and living an unhealthy lifestyle are statistically pretty good. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States -it is accountable for 23.53% of deaths. If you live in a relatively safe area the odds of you dying from a violent crime are less than 1%.
Here comes the saying from my grandfather Harry Jabara, “More people die from the spoon than the knife”. He meant your poor eating habits are more likely to kill you than an act of violence. People fear the knife, most don’t have any fear of the spoon.
The good news is that BJJ can help defend you from death by the spoon. You might find yourself eating healthier because it effects your ability to train. Even if you don’t change your diet, the cardiovascular output of a BJJ workout will help you keep heart disease at bay.
If you are new to BJJ or in your first year of training check out this audio book! This audio book will help you avoid many common mistakes during your first year. These mistakes can hold back your progress in this important time.
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Tips for bringing a friend to your BJJ class
Your main goals should be to keep your friend safe and to have fun.
Keep them safe by helping them to roll with experienced grapplers that will not injure them.
They will have fun if they are able to relax, BJJ is naturally fun.
You are an ambassador for BJJ.
To anyone that you know that doesn’t train, you are most like the best BJJ practitioner they know. You may have only been going a month to BJJ class, but in their eyes you are the only person they know that trains. You are their “Jiu-Jitsu guy” or “Jiu-Jitsu gal”.
Tell your friend what to expect for their first BJJ class. They will be less nervous if they know what to expect.
What is the format of the class? Warm up, technique, rolling….
Tell them about mat etiquette. They don’t want to break these rules, but if they don’t know the rules they might be breaking them.
Tell your friend what to bring.
What should they wear? Do they need to bring water?
Drive your friend to class if you can.
This may seem odd but they will really feel like you are doing everything you can to help them. The conversation you will have on the way home could mean the difference between your friend being frustrated about the class or excited.
What friends should you invite?
Invite anyone that asks you a few questions about BJJ. Or anyone that seems like they would give it a try.
Bonus tip– Call them the next day and ask them what they thought, try to make it with them to their next class.
3 Tips for helping the new student that does not know anyone.
Be outgoing and welcome them into the group.
Show them around and answer any questions they might have.
Treat them how you would like to be treated if it was your first day on the mat.
Quote of the Week– “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” Babe Ruth
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