* I strongly believe, in my opinion, that we can have tougher fights in our academies, then in tournaments. A personal rivalry, even if it’s among friends, you still want to win. Being finished by a particular training partner is difficult sometimes. But friendships continue. I believe that a healthy rivalry, leads to “upping” your Jiu-Jitsu game and developing new strategies and submissions.

I have and I believe that everyone who trains, has rivalries, although sometimes the other person may not even know it. Having a rivalry is not necessarily bad or destructive. It can be a good motivation, for you to improve your aerobic, physical and technical part of your game. Losing, getting submitted, makes you add points in your head and you see that you even lost on points! This, at least for me, forces me to think where failures occurred, was it due to physical conditioning, or a strategy error, did I not do the techniques correct?

When I lose to certain training partners, I stop and reassess where I can improve, and in my next training, I go looking for the victory. you cannot take loosing personally. Whoever finished you or gets the better of you, is in fact, showing the holes in your game. Make sure not to see your partner the wrong way. GM Carlos Gracie said: “In Jiu-Jitsu, you either win or you learn”. Analyze your defeat and have in your training partners that take you out of your comfort zone, to motivation for your evolution. And if you win, even better. But keep studying positions and improving your fitness, because certainly, if you rest thinking about victory, your friend who lost will be looking forward to the next workout.

I have friends in training who, when they finish me, or I know they got the better of me, it makes me go back to the gym and work even harder, mentally I review where it went wrong. Often, I’m thinking about a fight and a possibilities I missed, or a better technique I could have used, in certain situations.

When I win, the thought is the same, because I know that in the next training session, my training partner, will come stronger. But this rivalry in no way prevents us from being friends, quite the opposite. Not accepting defeat is quite different from knowing that your training partner, in that fight, was superior. And from this point on, you will seek to overcome this on his side, because your “rival” (training partner) in your next fight, will certainly try to get another victory. Is there better motivation than this, to evolve your Jiu-Jitsu? It seems logical what I wrote, but I have seen, friendships end, with fighters who took defeat personally. Healthy rivalry is an excellent fuel for training and challenges yet to come.

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* By Luiz Dias