I don’t consider myself to be a super athlete by any means, but I’m somewhat surprised sometimes that I’ve somehow found the motivation to continue training after all these years. I certainly have my ups and downs…I often joke about being a fair weather runner, but that inner drive to stay fit and that strife to better my Jiu-Jitsu game never fail me.
Nowadays I have a single thought that keeps me motivated to continue my Jiu-Jitsu training. It may sound a bit corny, but here’s my story.
My first days of Jiu-Jitsu practice consisted of trying to learn a confusing array of new movements. And although I couldn’t see past the tip of my nose, there was something about what I was learning that compelled me to keep coming back. Of course I began to progress and eventually realized I was actually learning something. As it is with most Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, the dreaded plateaus began to sink in.
My first instructor was a tall, lanky MMA fighter with cauliflowered ears and a crazy collection of tattoos. He was a good teacher and a great ground technician. Even as I saw myself getting better, I could see him and those ahead of me getting even better. For a brief period, it was somewhat disheartening to see their skill level rising at a faster rate than mine. Whether that was actually true or not, I’ll never really know. Unfortunately perception usually overshadows reality.
This all changed one day when I had an epiphany. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if I was improving and they were still improving, it was only logical that I would continue to improve as well. In fact, I decided at that moment that even though my instructor seemed to me to be an untouchable force, if I continued to train, I would someday be just as good.
So now here it is many years later and I’ve certainly improved. If my first teacher were to come back, and those who came before him, they would surely triumph over me, but to me this is an exciting prospect. Just knowing that someday I will be as good as they are now is all the motivation I need to continue training.
For some of my students it seems to me they become disheartened when they lose a match with me. I would say to them, don’t gauge your success, or failure, or progress based on a single match with a more experienced practitioner. But rather broaden your perspective and see the possibilities of what you can achieve.
Fedor carries with him a world-class background in the Russian martial art of Sambo. Although he's arguably more known for his vicious ground and pound, Fedor has finished his last five MMA opponents with submission holds.
2008 DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix champion Gegard Mousasi was also announced for the tournament.
The ADCC, which takes place every two years, is the world's most prestigious grappling tournament.