1. #1
    Tenebrous's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Fighting mental fatigue: How do I make this fun again?

    I know this is the technical forum, but I don't want to post this in the lawl forum, so have mercy.

    I am 9 years into bjj and various random cross-trainings. Tomorrow. 9 years tomorrow. I've been a brown belt for a year and a half. And... This stopped being fun 6 months to a year ago. I find myself avoiding going. And not enjoying being there. I finally left a class this week in the middle and told my coach that I was going to take a break from jiujitsu.

    I find that I have more fun talking about, watching, or teaching jiujitsu than doing it. A buddy of mine who has a couple years on me says that the thing that keeps him interested is coaching, and helping the newer guys develop. Which sounds good, but I have nowhere to teach.

    Instead I see this as a brutal slog through 20-somethings who have wrestled since they were children and want my head as a trophy. And I've just hit that age where I feel like I don't have what it takes to fight them off every day. I was thinking about visiting some other schools to get out of my immediate environment, but I haven't tried it yet. I figure some of the lifers here have either had this moment in their training, or seen it enough to tell me something about it. Any suggestions?
    I'm picturing you drooling onto the keyboard as you type, one eye rotating independent of the other as your hands mash the keys. - Sophist

  2. #2
    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours. Join us... or die
    BKR's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Besides having to deal with the aggressive headhunters, do you find jiu jitsu interesting to do ? Or do you feel you are technically mature and are about as good as you are going to get ?

    How old are you ? Do you still compete much or train to compete ?

    When I got into my late 20s early/mid 30s (I started judo at 17 years old), I was teaching judo more and more, plus in grad school then into the start of a career. So I had less time to train myself, and due to where I was fewer training partners at my level. I found that I was in conflict as to how much I wanted to focus on my own development and training. I did enjoy teaching though, and refereeing, quite a bit.

    Once I got out of where I was, and went to a judo club in another state where I could focus more on my own training, and still ref and teach a couple of classes, I felt a lot better, and my judo started to grow again. I had different people to train with that were more of my mindset.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

  3. #3
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebrous View Post
    I know this is the technical forum, but I don't want to post this in the lawl forum, so have mercy.

    I am 9 years into bjj and various random cross-trainings. Tomorrow. 9 years tomorrow. I've been a brown belt for a year and a half. And... This stopped being fun 6 months to a year ago. I find myself avoiding going. And not enjoying being there. I finally left a class this week in the middle and told my coach that I was going to take a break from jiujitsu.

    I find that I have more fun talking about, watching, or teaching jiujitsu than doing it. A buddy of mine who has a couple years on me says that the thing that keeps him interested is coaching, and helping the newer guys develop. Which sounds good, but I have nowhere to teach.

    Instead I see this as a brutal slog through 20-somethings who have wrestled since they were children and want my head as a trophy. And I've just hit that age where I feel like I don't have what it takes to fight them off every day. I was thinking about visiting some other schools to get out of my immediate environment, but I haven't tried it yet. I figure some of the lifers here have either had this moment in their training, or seen it enough to tell me something about it. Any suggestions?
    I've experienced exactly what you feel...after a 6 year stretch of various training programs I find myself still wanting to train every day, but relatively under motivated due to the repetition.

    It might be an aging thing, but I really need to mix things up nowadays or I get bored fast (even in BJJ one of my favorite things in the world to do) and it just leads you to use more excuses not to train.

    When you'd rather work or mow your lawn than train, you'll understand what I mean. You begin to weigh "useful work" like that, stuff you need to do, against "leisure work" ie training, stuff you want to do.

    Honest suggestion? Try to pick up a new art/direction, take what you've learned and go outside your comfort zone. Muay Thai or San Shou or even Judo would be a great place to use grappling skills in a new environment. Or really anything on your feet that provides the same alive training you're used to and desire.

    I know you've done some of these things, maybe you just need a new shakeup.

    You can always get extremely bored doing something you "love", simply from repetition, in the same way relationships suffer from too much time together/too little space. If you spend some time doing a mostly standup art you can grow a bit more in that direction, and I'll bet your drive for BJJ will return with a vengeance and you'll see it with a brand new, fresher perspective.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 6/16/2015 12:22pm at .

  4. #4
    <plasma>'s Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    For everyone it's different. For me It was putting back on a white belt in BJJ and quit teaching Judo and Nihon Jujutsu. I recommend putting on a white belt and train at a local Judo or Sambo school. The change in the training and ruleset may give you a second wind without the pressure.

  5. #5
    Tenebrous's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm 34. I seem to be able to summon the give-a-**** to lift, mostly, and that's about it for physical activity. I think the month off may have helped to some degree... I'm planning on going to class tonight for the first time. I'm... Semi-motivated to be there. A little more motivated about the idea that I could train other things for a while. I have this evil desire to crash the college judo club in a white belt... ;)

    I think teaching is going to be a thing for me. I taught a lot at purple belt, especially when I was traveling to places where the talent pool was thin, and as an old purple belt I was looked on as new blood, and people let me teach. Really liked it. I just got married a couple weeks ago, and my wife has been waiting to heal a bit more from a surgery before jumping in, but she's very enthusiastic about starting it. And the idea of getting to be involved in teaching her jiujitsu kind of gets my motor running a bit.

    I don't compete anymore. I have performance anxiety I've never been able to shake. I know, wussy reason. But I go to a tournament, get near heart-attack nervous waiting for my turn, then underperform and lose by a point or two the vast majority of the time. At the same time I used to be a terror visiting other gyms, or a few real life scuffles with no issues. I probably should done a tournament a month until I got over the anxiety, but... Didn't. :p

    I'll have to look into some cross training, that part sounds kind of magical. The wife has asked, why not have another round of striking? And I do find myself digging the punchy-kicky life for 3 or 4 months at a time over the years, so maybe it's worth a shot.
    I'm picturing you drooling onto the keyboard as you type, one eye rotating independent of the other as your hands mash the keys. - Sophist

  6. #6
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A change of pace and training partners could be a good idea. I recently got away from the whole martial arts thing to start training with a historical fencing group, and its been very mentally refreshing.

  7. #7
    The Villain's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think that the ten year plan is more to guarantee the instructor's income than for the students benefit. I'd take up grappling. Study Judo. Learn throws. Study Shaolin and Taiji to learn joint locks. Hwarangdo will teach you to mix takedowns and submissions. There ARE other grappling arts.

  8. #8
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Dude...sorry you're going through this.

    Being a wrestler who came to BJJ late in life I understand the physical challenges you may be feeling. With the mental stuff I would take that on as a real growth opportunity. Play a game with yourself, whenever you don't want to do something do it. Try it for a month.

    I know that I have always felt better after doing the hard thing...whether it physical or not, and then looking back. I'd offer this is more a mental exercise than anything magic bullet. Good luck pal.

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