10th Planet Denver: No Gi, No Ego.
There is a lot of talk in the Jiu Jitsu community about leaving the ego outside the dojo. First of all we need to figure out what the ego is and why is it so bad? What does it mean to have no ego? Google will tell you that ego is "a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance." Should it really be our goal to leave our sense of self-esteem off the mats when we are training? Isn't one of the main reasons people join a Jiu Jitsu club to boost their self-esteem and sense of purpose? Perhaps we need to dig a little deeper to find out exactly what it is about the ego that in undesirable in Jiu Jitsu and in life. Merriam Webster defines the ego as "the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world." Maybe it is in this contrast or comparison wherein lies the trouble. It has been said that "comparison is the thief of joy" and I believe that when we start to compare our lives to those of others, we begin to find fault with things that previously brought us joy. When we start to compare our Jiu Jitsu to that of our team members and training partners it is easy to become discouraged. Perhaps someone who started training at the same time as you got their belt promotion before you. How does this make you feel? Are you happy for your teammate and celebrate their success as your own, knowing that you as a training partner, played an integral and important part in their growth and development? Or are you mad, feeling unseen in your own efforts and saddened by your seemingly slow progress? If your answer is the latter, this is the aspect of the ego that needs to be left outside the gym. A true student of the game knows that progress is never linear, that each student progresses at their own pace, and that no one's Jiu Jitsu journey is the same. See you on the mats my friends.