By Coach James Peterson
Do you ever wonder why you feel so good after a training session? Have you ever thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t go in to practice tonight” and gone anyway, only to realize you feel great afterward? I am sure you have probably even tried to surmise why this happens. Maybe you think it is the endorphins. Maybe you think it is the simple act of “blowing off steam”. I am sure many of us have realized, whether we have been in BJJ for a short time or having been training for years, that while we are in the midst of it, it brings us true happiness.
I run my own gym and, in the past, have had several people return from vacations and tell me that they just have to get back in and roll. As I watched a TED Talk by Matt Killingsworth, it dawned on me as to what REALLY contributes to that feeling of such a great contentment and overall happiness a person gets from doing BJJ. You can watch it HERE.
It has to do with something he terms “Mind Wandering”. The general idea of Mind Wandering is that when people allow their minds to stray away from their present situation, they tend to be less happy. This holds true even if the individual’s thoughts are on something more positive than their current situation.
Luckily, while doing jiu-jitsu, you can only really focus on jiu-jitsu. I don’t know if I have ever thought, during a rolling session, what I would eat later or what plans I had for the weekend. When a person is doing BJJ, unless they want to get their ass completely handed to them, they can only focus on what is happening right at that moment. If you want to survive and thrive in BJJ, you MUST be in the moment. You have no choice. This is one of the key beauties of the art; complete focus on the now.
The side effects of training jiu-jitsu like increased fitness, the ability to endure difficult situations, better self-confidence and the bonds made with teammates are great, but I think, what brings true happiness is the absolute dedication to the present which is necessary to do jiu-jitsu.
Think about this AFTER your next rolling session.