BJJ Poll: If You Learned That No Matter What You Did From Now On Your BJJ Skills Would Never Improve and You Would Never Get Promoted, Would You Continue BJJ?

Very interesting poll question this week from Ross up in Northern California. As you’ll remember, a good portion of our poll ideas come from Ross! (Thank you!)

The question cuts to the heart about what motivates us to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Vote and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

16 Replies to “BJJ Poll: If You Learned That No Matter What You Did From Now On Your BJJ Skills Would Never Improve and You Would Never Get Promoted, Would You Continue BJJ?”

  1. I sometimes think that this is the case anyway and no thought experiment is necessary for me to realize it.

    Also, I think the answer to this depends on your level of ‘awesomeness.’

    If you can already tap most of the people who walk through the doors of your academy and can place well in tournaments then training will probably always be fun. As long as you can maintain that level then you will probably continue to train.

  2. I agree that the results would have a more interesting perspective if training time/belt level were somehow included.

    This also sounds like the sort of challenge that would make me train even more.

  3. I selected “I would not continue training.”

    I don’t have that much of an issue with not being promoted, but one of the reasons I train is to get better at BJJ.

    Even though we all have ups and downs I canĀ“t imagine training without at least improving some minor aspect of my game.

    If someone somehow could assure me that I would never get better, I guess that would make it frustrating.

  4. if i never got better no matter what i did, then i would stop. because you didnt also then say i would have to do anything to stay at that level.

    one of THE reasons i go to bjj is to learn and advance. if that will never happen and its beyond my control, not going.

  5. For most people progress is a necessary component for personal fulfillment. We love BJJ so much, it’s hard to imagine not being able to progress at all – zero, zip, zilch. Imagine every newbie who walks through the doors eventually surpassing you in skill while you are in an eternal stalemate. It would get really, really old, even for the world’s greatest optimist. I have a hard time believing most people would train BJJ consistently if they knew they would never, ever improve at all. I think BJJ practitioners are for the most part motivated, driven and discerning individuals who would choose to invest their energy into another activity where their efforts would generate success and fulfillment.

  6. If your skills aren’t improving, then you aren’t learning, and if you aren’t learning… well, where is the fun in that…
    Time to learn something else.

  7. Don’t care about never getting promoted again, but the “never increasing skills” is the killer. If I am not going to get better, than what is the point?

  8. Interesting question. Although I can’t imagine a situation where that could ever arise, if there was definitely no hope of any progress whatsoever, I would find it difficult to get the motivation to keep training, so I voted no. As others have said, the gradual progression of hard-earned skills is one of the most appealing aspects of BJJ.

    Belt promotions I could live without, but I would lose a massive part of my enjoyment if I couldn’t keep on refining technique, seeing small improvements. Without that, it would become repetitive and dull, because nothing would ever change.

  9. This reminds me of The karate kid

    Mr miagi talking to daniel

    karate here ( points to head)
    karate here ( points to heart
    karate never here ( points to belt)

    same can be applied to jiu jitsu.

  10. Like so many have said– I don’t care about the belt, but if I knew I would never get any better?!? That would suck. I’d keep training, because even as bad as I am now, it’s fun– but I wouldn’t train 7 days a week any longer. Maybe 3-4.

  11. I happened to come up with this poll idea after realizing that – as someone who is much older (51) than the average student – I am in, or close to, this very situation. Skill-wise, I have made next to no progress over the past 3 years. Many other older BJJ students probably find themselves feeling the same way. You can’t beat Father Time.

    Personally, however, I continue to train just as often as before (option 1), for a number of reasons. First, training BJJ is great exercise (and frequent exercise becomes even more important as you get older). Second, there’s the social aspect of training BJJ; it’s a good way to meet new friends, and keep in touch with existing friends. Third, continuing to train BJJ gives me the opportunity to help new students in the class. Finally, even if my BJJ *skills* may no longer be improving significantly, my BJJ *understanding* definitely continues to increase. A deep knowledge and understanding of BJJ is something that might not necessarily show itself as skills on the mat, but is valuable nonetheless. BJJ is not just a sport; it’s also a philosophy.

  12. If I knew I would never get promoted or improve in BJJ.. damn that would suck.. but I would still continue to train regardless.. If I stop training then my BJJ will decline.. many BJJ students know when time is spent away from training for whatever the reason.. once you get back on the mat you have alot of catching up to do…I will keep training.. keep my mind, body and technics sharp.. I guess staying where you are is still better than going backwards.

  13. The scenario about ‘improvement’ could never happen. If your thinking/training BJJ how can you not get better.
    I rmbr someone saying to my instructor that he’s not improving, my instructor said he’s never met anyone who trains jiu jitsu that got worse at it.

  14. I am an older bjj guy (age 44) who started back in 1997. I think due to my age, I’m not nearly as good, objectively speaking, compared to when I was a blue belt back in 2001. I think my skills are better and possibly my sensitivity but I am slower, weaker and less flexible. I continue to train because I do it for the self defense aspect of it despite the decline in my performance.

    It’s painful to think I will never reach blackbelt but it’s probably true from a purely performance perspective.

  15. personally, i don’t care about not being promoted but not getting better (even though it often feels that way now) would drive me nuts

  16. That’s impossible.

    There’s no way you can seriously train or practice something and not get better. Like someone mentioned in an earlier post, you would either improve physically or mentally. A lot of bjj is technique and using leverage, there are small intricacies in every technique to learn or figure out.

    A better question would be: If you knew you would progress at a absurdly slow rate, would you still continue BJJ? The answer for any serious martial artist worth their salt would be a definite yes.

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