Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Bake a Really Tasty BJJ Cake

I was reading a Royce Gracie Interview done by Sport360. One point of the interview stuck with me. Here, is a snippet of the interview:
When asked about the teaching methods and the talent he has seen in UAE as a regular visitor to the MMA Contender Gym in Dubai, Gracie said: “There is no such thing as good students and bad students but there are good teachers and bad teachers. My instructors are good teachers and if you have discipline you will learn martial arts. Talent is everywhere, but discipline is what will get you to a high level”
What is the discipline necessary to achieve the higher level? What makes up that discipline?
I am reminded of one my Japanese co-workers analogies about attacking a big project. He compared a big project to baking a cake, all the smaller tasks that make up the project are considered the ingredients, the specifications, drawings, or the plans are the directions to baking the cake. I began to think of discipline as the cake, but I just needed to figure out the ingredients that made up the result, the cake.

Here, is a shopping list of ingredients:
Motivation- what motivates you to train? What keeps you going to class? To be able to protect yourself, losing weight, competing, or the experience of doing something you love. This is one area that makes up discipline.
Routine- Developing a routine will help you stay on track. If you develop a routine of going to class and training, you will find yourself more apt to go. Once you get into a solid routine, you can deviate from time to time.
Inspiration-Find someone who inspires you to keep training. It could be your instructor, a training partner, or a famous practitioner, Andre Galvao, Marcelo Garcia, etc. It is the person you would look to for advice or someone you model your training after.
Goals-Discipline is nothing without goals. They are one of the main ingredients. Sit down with some paper and write them out. In the book I am currently reading The 10X Rule, author Grant Cadone states, that writing your goals down once a year is not worth doing one time a year. He recommends writing them daily and set the goals high. “People’s failure to think big enough usually means they will never act big enough, often enough, or persistently enough.”
Visualization-You have to figure out what you want in the end and see it. In the latest issue of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, there is an article that discusses how 2011 ADCC Champion, Andre Galvoa, visualizes his matches and his hand being raised in victory at the end of a match. I have to say it must work, he typically dominates his division and is considered one of the top competitors in the world.

Once you combine all these ingredients you still will have mess that you need to some sense of. This is where the recipe, directions or your plan comes into action. This is no miracle formula for instant success; you have to follow your plan, you have to preheat and bake the ingredients. It is going to take time to develop your plan of action and it will take some time before you see the results. You can typically taste the results of the cake in about forty-five minutes, but for your discipline to taste great it will probably take you several months before you start to see results. I knew I had to have the discipline to train or to excel, but I never thought about what discipline was made up of. After analyzing the ingredients, I think I have a better understanding of the hard work necessary to be disciplined.
Now you can have your Discipline and eat it too!


  1. Is there no responsibility for the student to bring any ingredients for the cake? So teacher is the only person baking the cake?
    Ofcourse the are bad students and bad teachers and good students and good teachers and same person can be all of then at one time or another.

    1. Thanks for your comment. The main point of the article was talking about the instruction given to students. I was trying to write from a perspective of a student and the discipline necessary to succeed.Sorry if it did not come across that way.

  2. This was a great post to read. I always say that hard work is much more important then talent. I think another ingredient that is necessary to succeed is belief. If you believe you can win you usually will win, in my opinion. This really was a great post, its good to know that even Royce Gracie shares this ideal!

  3. Thanks Nick! Believing is a good one. I had mind made up to quit before I even got started. I had to believe I could do it. Other than being a new dad, jiu Jitsu is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life