It’s Saturday night and I’m out with my friends — I really want to stay longer, but Jiu-Jitsu training starts at 10:30 the next morning. If I’m going to make it to class, I’ve got to get home and get some rest so that I can make it to class on time — and feel energetic enough to practice. Making that decision takes discipline.

I’ve got a long day ahead and I’ll have to head straight to training from work which means I need to be prepared for class from beforehand. Being prepared means packing my Jiu-Jitsu bag the night before, making sure I’ve packed my Gi, mouthguard, gloves, belt, etc. Preparing ahead of time takes discipline.

I’ve been working on a technique for weeks now and although I know I need more practice before I move on, I’m getting impatient and I want to practice something new. Sticking to the necessary drills takes discipline.

I sometimes get overwhelmed in class with the amount of technical details. I wish I could just absorb it all without giving it much thought but I can’t. I know I want to learn and remember the material, but this means I need to watch the training videos, take notes during class, and review those notes afterwards. Putting in that extra time takes discipline.

I’ve gone over to a friend’s house for dinner and although what they’re serving looks delicious, I know that it won’t make me feel good in the morning. If I want to have a good training session, then it’ll be better for me to avoid the foods that won’t have me at my best. Saying no takes discipline.


When it comes to (any type of) training, discipline is a key ingredient to success. By deciding to practice Jiu-Jitsu, I have committed to putting in the time and effort to practicing the techniques. However, my practice of Jiu-Jitsu goes beyond learning just the techniques.

The desire to do well in practice means that I have had to be disciplined off the mats as well. I need to get enough rest to ensure I have a good training session. I need to pack my training bag the night before so that I am ready to go. I need to make healthy eating choices so that I feel my best on the mats.

These are all adjustments I need to make to my daily routine in order for me to pursue my training in the best way possible.

I know to some it may seem like I’m sacrificing a lot or taking it too seriously. If I wasn’t so passionate about making progress and improving, then I might have agreed. However, doing well during drilling and sparring sessions is important to me and it makes me feel happy. If it didn’t, then I probably wouldn’t be so conscious of how my choices and behaviors off the mats have an impact on the mats.

I think the enthusiasm that is linked to any hobby goes through peaks and valleys. In the beginning, you’re full of excitement and everything is about the new experience. When I first started Jiu-Jitsu, I was exactly like that. I would spend a lot of time reading and exploring the world of Jiu-Jitsu. I found, however, that the same level of enthusiasm was not easy to sustain for a long period of time. It’s not that my love for Jiu-Jitsu has waned– it’s just that … life happens. Family obligations, work demands, social engagements – they all need your attention. You realize that you have to find some level of balance – and that requires discipline. Beyond the techniques, focusing on my Jiu-Jitsu training has also taught me how to make decisions in my life as a whole in a much more disciplined manner.


Links to other posts in this series: 

Beyond the Technique: Focus

Beyond the Technique: Patience

Beyond the Technique: Confidence