"My dream is to become a World Champion and live from Jiu-Jitsu. Im willing to do whatever it takes"
Every once in a while, someone approaches me with this kind of commentary, looking for my advice or even support. I like to give my honest opinion and make sure the person who is willing to follow that path is aware of the positive and negative points of that choice.
We have heard many times that you should dream high in order to achieve your goals and that is very true, I have told before the story my father use to tell me of the boy who would be seen everyday trowing rocks to the sky, the other kids would pass and mock him and asking why was he doing that.
His answer, "I'm trowing rocks on the moon", would make all the kids laugh, but he ignored that.
One day one of his friend asked him why he keep saying that he was trowing rocks on the moon, if he knew that was impossible.
He said "It may be impossible to trow rocks on the moon, but for sure I'm the kid who can trow rocks the highest on the street"
The message is:
aim low and that is as far as you will get, now aim hight and even if you don't get there, you will at least get as far as you are capable of.
That story my father told me when I was young, helped me a lot to have a right mindset towards things I wanted to accomplish.
I call tell you another story of this kind, this one is not as childish, I was having a relax talk with my friend Caio Terra, about competition mindset, being nervous or calm before tournaments etc and he told me one thing that reminded me a lot my father's story, he said that when he enters a fight, he enters thinking of the submission, because even if he doesn't get it, at least he should be ahead of his opponent, enough to win by points. While if he would enter with the intention to win just by point of advantage, if he couldn't accomplish that goal that was so "low", would probably mean defeat.
The mentality of wanting to become champion is correct and essencial to get there, but some times that alone is not enough, my question is, are you ready to face the possibility of not reaching that goal? If you can not "trow your rock on the moon", will you be happy with where you can reach? Will that full fill your life?
Now let's say you did reach your goal. The prestige of being a world champion is quite illusory... Other than a few extra likes on FB, what else is there? Thinking that this will take you around the world is not impossible, but not as glamorous as it seen, it's not easy to stay away from family and it's not a vacation, of course it's fun, but it's not the same as travel on vacation. That goes without saying that most people forget very easily what the older champions accomplished when the new generation start to raise.
Like I said, its not impossible, and I hope the ones who have this dream and are willing to pay the price to get there succeed, if it's a student of mine I will do the possible and impossible to help, BUT, this person needs to think if he/she will be happy in the worse case scenario, which from what I see is not being the champion he/she dreams of and just teach like any person, but having this as main job.
Just teaching and leading a group is not a bad perspective at all, in reality I can see that for my own future and may be fun... But will you be happy with that option?
I Love JiuJitsu LOVE LOVE, I followed this step against my family will and no regrets, but today, Bjj is not a hobby anymore, its a profession and there are days where I dont feel like doing it. ( which I think is normal, but want to make sure you know that, even if now you thinks wont happen to you, it will).
Most important of ALL, it will only work if you are doing it for yourself and not because of what people will think. Expect no recognition from others, very often it will not be as you wish, but if you are doing this for your self, because it's your passion, all the hard work will be compensate and you will feel fully accomplished with your results.
Good luck and count on me!
Felipe Costa ( Black belt BJJ World Champion)
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