Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Being Ego-Less In An Ego-Driven Sport

I was talking to a friend, Louis. We were talking about the lack of married guys and people with children in BJJ. He had a great answer. He told me, why would there be? BJJ is a selfish sport. Hard to be selfish when you have kids and a wife. It attracts ego-driven and selfish people. If you get really good at BJJ, your family won't benefit most likely, your friends won't, your job won't, only you will. Not only that, you get rewarded on individual merit, it's not like football where the team has to win. You have to win. In fact you get rewarded for dismantling your teammates by getting a new belt! I've always said, you should only be loyal to your own personal BJJ, that BJJ IS a selfish sport. But...

That's also a good thing. It's your own thing that no one can touch or take away from you. It's something you don't have to share with anyone else, the one thing your girlfriend, wife, boss can't do with your or get involved with. Your one thing left that you enjoy doing for personal reasons. The thing that keeps you young, after giving up so many other things to become a responsible adult.

So I ask you how can you be ego-less in an ego-driven sport? The answer according to my friend Jamel is, have a healthy ego.


  1. I have a nearly opposite experience, the majority of the guys i roll with are married with kids. We are there because our kids roll at the same place. So the atmosphere tends to be very non-ego driven. We view ourselves as growing as a single unit rather than as a group of individuals, an improvement for one is ultimately an improvement for the entire school.

    And we do improve our family and work lives as a result,we hang out as a group outside of the school, our kids all play together, and i have made some fantastic friendships. Being all guys (and a few women) with day jobs to support our families we have the opportunity to network and help each other professional as well.

    I understand my experience is probably very unique, but I am very fond of it and wanted to share.

  2. One of my other friends Jeff (unless you are Jeff) made a point that his whole family trains together.

  3. IMO no more ego-driven than any other combat sports/martial arts or all individual sports (tennis, ski, ...).

    As the most complete/technical grappling sport, the road is (very) long to reach a high level (or simply a new belt...) and 100% ego people doesn't like to not be rewarded at each step and eventually go away.

  4. Yes. How much of BJJ is martial art and how much of it is sport now I wonder.



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