“There is no losing in jiu jitsu. You either win or you learn.” Grand Master Carlos Gracie Sr.

     There many powerful and inspiring jiujitsu proverbs out there and one of  my personal favorites comes from Grand Master Carlos Gracie Sr. It goes, “There is no losing in jiujitsu. You either win or you learn.” I first heard this quote as a white belt and it has stuck with me ever since. There is no shame in failure and there is everything to gain by learning from our mistakes. Afterall, A black belt is a white belt that has tapped ten thousand times and has never given up. Every time you tap you learn humility, patience and technique. You learn humility by rolling on the mat. Egos can’t survive there. An ego is really quite a fragile thing- but more on that later… You learn patience by understanding that you will not see results overnight. It takes time to learn jiujitsu. Learning jiu jitsu is like learning to walk for the first time. You will stumble, fall and become frustrated with yourself, but if you adopt a ‘no lose, only learn’’ attitude you will be successful.

      Then there’s the other side of the coin. When you walk off the mat and out of the gym, you don’t leave what you learn there, you take it with you. And when you take it with you, “There is no losing in jiu jitsu” becomes, “There is no losing in life; only learning.” Now we’re onto something. Imagine if you were to have adopted a ‘no lose, only learn’ mindset years ago. How much do you think you would have learned by not giving up? How much frustration would you have avoided?

     Too many people get bogged down by past failures and lose the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. After all, there really is no such thing as losing.. Winning and losing are socially created notions used to categorize and alienate. There’s nothing wrong with a little competition, but if people were more concerned with learning instead of winning, I think society would be better for it.

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