The First Submission

by Ryan Fiorenzi on February 5, 2013

wrestler and coach

In most BJJ classes you work technique, then start rolling.  For some people, the first submission landed sets the tone for the rest of the rolling.  Meaning, some people fall apart if they get submitted early in their first match!

There is a college wrestler who I have trained with who is a really tough wrestler.  For some reason, sometimes he drops his head when he approaches people.  If I snap his head down and get a guillotine or standing anaconda in the first minute of the match, he’s done.  The rest of the time it is so much easier to get a takedown or submission.    Once his confidence is shaken, he’s done.

Losing quickly begins a cycle of negative self talk or negative feelings.  Those thoughts or feelings will repeat until you spiral down into a state of being slightly depressed.  So what do you do?

The best way to counter negative self talk and the downward spiral is positive self talk, or just let it go.  Wipe your mental slate clean.  You get caught, and you think “Damnit!  Why didn’t I stop that?”  Do not let the second thought be a negative one.  Tell yourself, “Get back in there.  You can do better.”

A good rule is when you have one negative thought, counteract it with 3 positive thoughts.  You may not be able to control your first thought- it’s your natural reaction to a situation.  But you have more control of all your thoughts after that.

You may have noticed that many of the things you learn in Jiu-Jitsu are things you can apply to your life.  Sometimes the answer to your problem in Jiu-Jitsu is not technical, it’s mental or emotional.


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