Now what if the bad guy (a challenge or a problem) was really like a Jiu-Jitsu Instructor? Even though he may appear bigger and stronger, he was actually there to teach you skills. He wasn’t the enemy he was there to teach you how to defend yourself in such a scenario. In fact the more you paid attention to him and practiced what he taught you and what you learned, the more skilled you became at overcoming obstacles in all areas of your life. That would be pretty cool wouldn’t it?

Here’s an example. Inherent in every problem is the solution. If you are struggling against it and wear yourself out, you are not going to find the answer are you?

If we look at the same example as before: The good guy lying on the floor struggling against the bad guy, getting tired and fatigued and can no longer do anything. He is now at the mercy of the bad guy.

This is just like worrying, or getting anxious and stressed about a problem and giving yourself all the reasons and excuses why you can’t do anything about it or blaming others for your “being stuck” where you are. This gets you absolutely nowhere FAST!

Have you ever done this in your life? Yes, we all have.

But what if you did something completely different? What if you stopped and paid attention to what your Instructor was telling you? Instead of focusing on what you don’t want, what is not working, you instead focus on what you do want. You focus on a solution based upon the ultimate goal you wish to achieve. You focus on a SUCCESSFUL outcome.

You see if you stopped for a moment and paid attention he’d actually tell you how to get out of this scenario.

Back in 2008, I had the pleasure of doing a couple of Jiu-Jitsu classes with Rener Gracie in Los Angeles at the Gracie Academy. In one of the classes I was working with Rener as my opponent/partner. He was teaching our class some great self-defense moves based on the “Gracie Style” demonstrating a scenario when you are pinned to the ground and your opponent is on top of you.

As a 5’ 6” tall, 130-pound female working with Rener who is a 200-pound and 6’ 4” male, I was clearly at a physical disadvantage.

Within a few seconds of commencing the sparing scenario, I was pinned to the ground with Rener’s full body weight on top of me. Everything we had just been taught in the class completely flew out of my mind and I began struggling and thrashing about trying to get him off me and of course what did this do? I used up most of my energy and got tired very quickly.

The next thing, I heard was Rener’s voice saying: “Stop struggling! Pay Attention! Pay Attention to what my body is doing so that you can determine the moment when I’m off balance and you can throw me off you like what we learned in class today.”

It was as if someone threw a bucket of cold water over me in an unconscious state and suddenly I woke up.

In my head, I had begun to panic and struggle. I began thinking that having someone bigger and heavier than me as an opponent was an impossible situation with no way out. I had become completely overwhelmed by my thoughts, beliefs and fear in the moment and my ensuing struggling was draining my energy and tiring me out.

As soon as I stopped struggling and did what he said, “ pay attention” all of a sudden, I became aware of a shift in his body weight where I knew his center of balance was now compromised and in that split second, I responded as he had taught us in the class and leveraged the situation to knock him further off balance to roll and throw him off me and get into the dominant position.

It was completely EFFORTLESS!

Not only that, it was incredibly empowering to be able to overthrow someone that was much bigger, heavier, taller with a greater body length and reach than me and not have to use up all of my energy or get hurt doing it.

You don’t overcome a challenge or problem by struggling with it or getting stuck in your head about it it. You stop, become completely still and pay attention to what is going on. You leverage the situation to your advantage, without expending any of your energy and at the appropriate time you respond when you can get maximum leverage to obtain the greatest outcome.

Working with Rener as my opponent taught me many great lessons for which I am extremely grateful. These are practical tools that can be applied to every day life as well as business and relationships.

One of the biggest gifts of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is that it teaches you how to maximize your outcome with the minimum amount of effort while avoiding damage and injury. It teaches you to always be aware of your situation, don’t react based upon your emotions. Instead with a cool head, with stillness, pay attention using the cues and impulses that your opponent/life situation gives you to respond in the optimal way and at the optimal time to leverage the greatest outcome possible.

When it comes to thinking and your beliefs, start to pay attention. You’ll become aware that you are having thoughts that limit you. You are running beliefs that are holding you back. You’ll also become aware that you are struggling, blaming justifying, making excuses, and giving yourself reasons for not getting the result you want and at this point you CAN make a choice to be and do something different. You can choose to be responsible for where you are right now and ask your Instructor for help. You can ask: “How do you do this? You can ask: “ How can I?”

You see it’s easy. As soon as you ask your Instructor “How can I?”  For example,

“How can I get myself out of this position to a place where I am no longer in danger and where I am now in control?” You Instructor will willingly oblige.

Let’s go back to the same scenario as before. This was also the actual scenario I did with Rener as my partner: White belt participant lying on the floor Instructor on top. The Instructor now teaches the white belt a technique where he leverages 2 points on the Instructors left arm – 1) monkey grip around the wrist and 2) other hand is wrapped tightly above the elbow this takes the Instructor’s base of stability away on the left side. The white belt is also taught to trap 1 of the Instructor’s feet under his then in 1 swift move the white belt lifts his hips knocks the Instructor off balance, jumps on top in the kneeling straddle position and now the white belt is exactly where he wants to be. The Instructor who is bigger can now no longer reach the white belt’s face to do him harm and the white belt is in the position of controlling the situation. (He can pin the Instructor down and easily reach the Instructor’s face and apply a series of strikes or punches.)

The problem can now no longer touch you.

The Instructor is no longer able to touch the white belt because his arms cannot reach his face and head and you can decide/choose what you wish to do next.

The more you practice, the more you master each technique you learn.

Now, if you have a curious nature and I’m sure that you do, you can ask your Instructor (Your Jiu-Jitsu Instructor and/or your Inner Guidance System Instructor in your mind): “How else can I?” or “What else can I do to overcome this scenario?” and he will willingly come up with several other ways that you can deal with this.

As you continue to do this, you build up a huge amount of resources to deal with anything that comes your way. You grow, develop and evolve and you go from being a white belt to a blue belt, then a purple belt, brown belt and eventually a black belt.

As time goes by you learn how to leverage your surroundings to maximize your outcomes, you learn how to breathe to control your body responses and take charge of your emotional states, you learn that instead of fighting an issue you move into it so that you are so close to it that you move into an ineffective striking distance, you know how to move out of harms way, you do not get caught up by limitations of thinking, you learn to move with it and through it to overcome it. You learn how to make it your ally and get as much information and feedback from it in order to learn how to disarm it and use it to your advantage and create a successful solution for yourself and achieve the outcomes you desire.

Take a look at Rener Gracie’s video: Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Part 3 – The Basics II


Furthermore as you learn these skills from your Instructor you naturally grow in self-confidence and begin to appreciate the value of who you are. You begin to blossom as an individual adopting more and more strategies of empowerment as you progress along your journey and letting go of anything that doesn’t support the magnificence of who you are and the direction of your personal growth and evolution.

So let’s examine some of these strategies of Mental Jiu-Jitsu a little more closely.

Success comes as a direct result from a strong and healthy mind and body.

Here’s a great quote:

“The way you look and feel tomorrow is a direct reflection of the thoughts and actions you engage in along with the foods you consume today. Therefore you must carefully and consciously avoid consuming anything that negatively affects the body or the mind.”

– Gary Ryan Blair

Everything that you put into your mind and body, what you choose to focus on, your thoughts, your actions the food – all of the things you nourish your mind and body with – they all have a result. Depending on what you put in will give you a positive or negative result. Garbage in will lead to garbage out results. Success in will lead to successful results. It’s just that simple.

To take care of your body you first need to take care of your mind. When you are actively engaged in a discipline like Jiu-Jitsu and/or adopt Mental Jiu-Jitsu you are constantly making decisions, you are constantly making commitments to follow through with those decisions and you make the commitment to take action that supports those decisions. You decide, commit and then take action.

Decide, commit and take action – Keep repeating this till you have the resolution you wish to achieve.

In order for you to have the results you want in your life are you willing to agree to decide, commit and take action? From now on, you are 100% committed to protecting your mind by becoming aware, by making sure what you choose to think, focus on and believe in, is nourishing for your mind. You focus on positive resourceful beliefs that powerfully drive you forward to achieving your goals. Anything else, you simply let it all go. You throw it out, just like the trash.

Do you agree?

Yes! Excellent!

So let’s get started!

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