In BJJ training, as well as in life, we are presented with challenges to overcome, and are confronted with uncomfortable situations to deal with. Life can also contain ongoing stress that can affect our mental and physical health and interfere with the things that we usually love to do, like having a roll on the mat. It can oftentimes be a challenge in itself to see a way out of what can be difficult situations, such as unemployment, homelessness, relationship breakdown, ill-health, bereavement. Whilst listening to, or reading, inspirational quotes won’t solve the plethora of challenges people face, it can be one of the motivational tools a person can use to start making important changes in their life.
What is inspiration? Collins Dictionary describes it as: “Inspiration is a feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something, that gives you new and creative ideas. If you describe someone or something good as an inspiration, you mean that they make you or other people want to do or achieve something.” Harvest Business
Review’s definition is: “Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature.”
The BJJ community is full of inspirational people, especially the Gracie family, who has continually inspired others with their philosophy about, and belief in, the greatness of being part of a community, and how it helps us to achieve our higher selves, and enables us to self-actualise. This article focuses on what we think are the 10 most inspirational BJJ quotes and our thoughts on them. So, whether you train Jiu Jitsu in the GI or are more of a NO GI aficionado, sit back and enjoy.
- “Jiu-jitsu puts you completely in the moment, where you must have a complete focus on finding a solution to the problem. This trains the mind to build that focus, to increase your awareness, your capacity to solve problems”. Rickson Gracie
Mindfulness helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and can aid the treatment of depression, as paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
- “There is no losing in Jiu Jitsu. You either win or you learn”. Carlos Gracie Senior
- “Don’t confuse failure with defeat, or victory with success. In a champion’s life there will always be some defeats, as in a loser’s life there will always be victories. The difference is that champions grow in defeat, while losers settle with a victory.” Gracie Barra
Whether it’s for BJJ training, taking part in competitions, or dealing with life’s challenges, focus only on that experience at that moment in time, and doing your best, rather than the outcome of winning or losing – important lessons are learned, whether or not you win.
- “The journey has to be based on passion. Put yourself in something you love to do. If you love what you do, you’re able to dedicate yourself, overcome obstacles.” Rickson Gracie
We all have things in life that we don’t enjoy to do but that we must do, but we also have things that we enjoy, like BJJ, that we can be passionate about and throw ourselves in to for the hour or two we are there each week – and we get to share it with others who are just as passionate about BJJ. Be thankful for finding what you love.
- “My opponent is my teacher, my ego is my enemy.” Renzo Gracie
Confidence is important in life and BJJ, but the ego will interfere with your practice on the mat – leave all of what you think you know about BJJ at the door, be humble, and focus only on enjoying the experience of learning. See all of those you roll with, as your teacher, rather than someone you must best.
- “Believe strongly that the world is on your side, as long as you stay loyal to the best of yourself”. Carlos Gracie Senior
Be true to who you are, no matter how challenging or uncomfortable the situation is. Every situation that you are presented with is a chance for you to show who you really are – be the best of yourself, always.
- “I always keep my mind open. For me, a mind has to work like a parachute, works only if it’s open.” Rickson Gracie
Be open and ready to learn from, listen to, and understand others, whether on the mat, in work, relationships.
- “A 10,000 mile walk, begins with a single step and continues one step at a time.” Rickson Gracie
No matter how challenging things are, take that step, there are no wrong decisions or mistakes, only experience and learning. Don’t bear yourself up if things don’t end up the way you expect, just take another step.
- “The idea of Jiu Jitsu is to give the little guy the chance to beat the big guy”. Royce Gracie
- “Always assume that your opponent is going to be bigger, stronger, and faster than you; so that you learn to rely on technique, timing and leverage, rather than brute strength.” Helio Gracie
On the mat, and in life, there will always be those who try to overpower you, physically and mentally – focus on learning techniques, , continually practising what has been learned, educating yourself and be mindful to stay in the moment and true to yourself.
Whatever challenges you may be faced with in the gym and in life, we hope that these quotes inspire you in some way. What inspires you?