When you realize you're not very talented

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Marlowe, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Marlowe

    Marlowe White Belt

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I started doing BJJ in January and I'm having a lot of fun. However, pretty quickly I realized that I don't have a great talent for grappling. I'm not completely hopeless, but I'm a slow learner, and most of the guys I spar with (even the ones who started at the same time as me) will dominate me. I'm getting pretty good at avoiding submissions and getting back to guard, but it's kind of depressing when you realize you don't have "what it takes". I guess my strengths lie elsewhere.

    Don't get me wrong though, I still love it and I'm not going to quit, but I just wanted to know if anyone who has had similar experiences has anything to share.
     
  2. ItsOk2Tap

    ItsOk2Tap White Belt

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    i have good days where i have really good movement and do really well when rolling. but then i have days where i don't think i could even tie my own shoe. i think its normal to get frustrated.
     
  3. Equinox

    Equinox White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    you have to remember that rome wasn't built in a day (so old/stereotypical). i've been grappling for two years there are days i am content with my skills, others i feel that these two years have been a waste...just a mind set really...i find it helps promote self growth
     
  4. judogido

    judogido Aussie!, Aussie!, Aussie! ...

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,741
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Down Under
    Aaaaah, I know EXACTLY where you are coming from.

    Look at it from the perspective of an ability curve.

    People with better strength, agility, co-ordination, balance etc will have a big initial advantage. They automatically start higher up on the curve.

    However, over time, this advantage is often eroded as skill and knowledge come into play.

    All you need to do is persist and continue to learn.

    There's more to success in BJJ than just simply natural ability - although for sure it helps. If they are stronger - you can be more determined. If they are more agile - you can be more dedicated. If they are fitter - you can be smarter.

    If you can't be better than they are - train harder than they do.
     
  5. ItsArun

    ItsArun Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,208
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I was one of the slowest learners in my class, and it took me like 6-8 months to get a secure submission on a fellow student. Not being physically "gifted", I had to rely solely on technique. It pays off, though it's an uphill battle. And you never stop working on your technique...you'll never get satisfied with your game, but trust me- it will pay off.
     
  6. jiujitsuking

    jiujitsuking White Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't say I have ever felt like that.
     
  7. judogido

    judogido Aussie!, Aussie!, Aussie! ...

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,741
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Down Under
    A classic case - there are 2 brothers, non-identical twins.

    They started at the same time, and one brother was just more co-ordinated than the other and generally always won and placed higher than the other.

    Yet, the second brother was just determined. He trained hard and had a never-give-up attitude, especially in competition.

    He's now a nationally ranked player, and has defeated his brother on numerous occasions and consistently places ahead of his brother.


    All I can say is - don't give up. Persist. Understand that just because they started better than you doesn't mean you won't finish better than they will.
     
  8. jjwvic

    jjwvic Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    texas
    who are the two brothers you are talking about? or is it just an example to prove your point that hard work eventually prevails?
     
  9. mackz

    mackz Guest

    well said.
     
  10. judofarmerbob

    judofarmerbob Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IIII OOOO WAAAAA
    practice more, work harder.
     
  11. BrokenCouch

    BrokenCouch Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,614
    Likes Received:
    2
    if al bundy can get a black belt at the age of like 65, then anyone can get a black belt. just a matter of patience, dedication and study (like anything else really).
     
  12. Bubble Boy

    Bubble Boy Black Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,973
    Likes Received:
    13
    You'll figure out a your game eventually also. Just some little tricks and stuff. You can't suck at it ALL. You've got skillz just like everyone else. You'll find your strengths at some point, and you'll start capitalizing on them.

    I don't have NATURAL grappling talent either, but I've been doing it for 8 years steadily. When it comes to Judo skills you might say I'm a jack of all trades, but master of none. I'm just kind of solid and well rounded but not exceptional.

    You'll find your style soon, and be good with it.
     
  13. BJJ-guy

    BJJ-guy Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    0
    who are these two brothers, or is your story like that fool who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad and never confirmed who the "two Fathers" were and made everyone doubt they even existed.
     
  14. devante

    devante Silver Belt

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,712
    Likes Received:
    489
    Location:
    satx
    if u as a non talented person put ur all into it, u will surpass alot of tech and phys better guys; but if the gifted guy also have the determination and dedication u won't catch or surpass them.

    the only time hard work beats talent, is when the talented person is coasting on his talent; if he is just as focused he will be ahead.

    y micheal jordan, micheal jackson kobe bryant justin timberlake/usher are so good at what they do, great natural talent; byt also have a work ethic superior to those competing. Other people had as much talent, but less focus and others had similar focus, just lacked talent; when u can put the two together u got something special.
     
  15. judogido

    judogido Aussie!, Aussie!, Aussie! ...

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,741
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Down Under
    No - real-life example.

    2 competitive black-belt grades at my club.
     
  16. nyne

    nyne Orange Belt

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, CA
    believe in yourself. hard work and determination will yield improvement over time.
     
  17. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,834
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    South Florida
    Dude...I realized that I wasn't as talented (whatever the hell that means) back when I first started grappling in '96. I was a bookworm, still am a bookworm, and before I started grappling I LITERALLY did no sports whatsoever and had zero athletic ability.

    It got annoying sometimes to get beat by guys that picked the game up quicker than me, but overall what I've noticed with many of these people is that they oftentimes don't have an all around well rounded game. They are very good at one specific aspect that works for them and allows them to get the tap.

    Take one guy I roll with who has wrestled for like, 25 years or something, the guy is a white belt in BJJ, but oftentimes he can tap me. How? If he ever passes my guard (and he's picked up passing amazingly quickly) he'll sit in side control and muscle my arm into a kimura-the dude is insanely strong, has weight on me and is phenomenal at pinning.

    However, he can't:
    Submit me with anything else from anywhere else
    can't sweep me from any type of guard
    can't get mounted on me or get my back
    can't keep me from passing his guard
    can't escape when I'm mounted
    can't escape when I'm in side mount
    can't escape when I have his back

    And generally he just sticks to his very limited game because it works. It gets him the tap. He's a great guy but he just seems very unwilling to try new things when rolling. I'm already starting to be able to escape his pins now. It's just something I've noticed with a lot of the "talented" guys, is that the are very good at one thing and oftentimes won't venture out into other areas to fully flesh out their game.

    But if it helps think of it like this; do you really think that Helio Gracie was talented? or look at someone like Jean-Jacques who was born with a disability? or skinny little Royler when compared to Rickson? They just worked and studied and trained more than the other guys. I really believe in what Pedro Sauer said at a seminar I went to. He said that "if you're not tapping you're not learning". So go ahead and tap, who cares, you're learning everytime you do it.
     
  18. jjwvic

    jjwvic Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    texas
    to me it sounds like he is stubborn and afraid to try different things..which have no correlation with talent level
     
  19. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,834
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    South Florida
    What I'm getting at is that the guy IS very talented when it comes to grappling. He's wrestled for forever, is great at pinning, scrambles, and he has picked up passing very quickly, plus he's strong as hell. But he hasn't ever branched out into other areas of jiu-jitsu. He has tons of talent but just isn't willing to try different things.

    A lot of the time it seems like talented guys aren't willing to try new things because they either lose position or get tapped.
     
  20. stlnl2

    stlnl2 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Clayton, NC

    In my personal experience, it is still pretty early for you to make this decision. The "front runners" who dominate and power tap guys at the six month mark do not always make the progress the guys who are used to having it tough do. I would make this decision (lack of talent/ability) once you hit the year and a half or so mark (so long as you train consistently-3+ days a weeK) and your initial prognosis may change a hell fo alot.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.