Ego and BJJ: Don't leave your ego at the door!

I believe that people in the BJJ community who say "leave your ego at the door" when talking about BJJ are either deluding themselves, deluding their students (intentionally or unintentionally) or have a different definition of the ego to me.

I say bring the ego to the mat with you, keeping it under your upmost attention. How else will you understand it and your relationship to it if you're always leaving it at the door? What do you think happens when you step off the mat after the session? It just right back on you like a monkey! Are you any wiser about your ego if you leave it at the door? No! Of course not! You just wasted a wonderful opportunity to examine and understand the ego and your relationship to it by leaving it at the door.

More on this in a (very near) future post.

Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi ----Did You Like This Article?--- Click here to add The Part Time Grappler to your Favourites / Bookmarks


slideyfoot said...

This blog appears to have become a list of things I disagree with over the last few posts. ;p

Keep it up, always good to have food for thought. :D

The Part Time Grappler said...

Haha excellent my good man. Something that always annoyed me in Trad MA is the quasi-psychology they used and never lived up to and I've always loved that BJJ has so much less of it. The more I study Buddhism the more I realise that our relation to the ego in BJJ (and off the mat) is often misunderstood but that doesn't stop people from saying the wrong things (with the best of intentions, I'm certain!)

More to come.

A.D. McClish said...

To me, "leave your pride at the door" means that you come into the gym looking to learn, not to prove yourself or show how awesome you are.
I just wrote a post ( about why I think that is important.

Just last night at the women's class I had two girls who are very competitive. They started at the same time, are the same age and size and would be ideal training partners were it not for the fact that one of them is consumed with proving she is better than the other. It affects how she acts all class long. And during a grapple last night, she hurt the other girl on purpose to "show her" who was boss basically. I had to do the same thing to her. It was a very unpleasant evening.

If you want to prove yourself, go to a tournament. If you want to learn and grow, leave your desire to impress people at the door, and come in and train.

That's how I view it. Not sure if we are talking about the same thing, though.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Well said Allie. A lot of people say "leave your ego at the door" and mean exactly what you said, but no one tells you what to do when the ego creeeeeps in. Here you are, in the middle of an egoless roll and boom, your ego shows it's head. You hear your inner voice say "pffft. why won't he/she tap? I got their arm all straightened out. That's such an ego thing to do" :)

While your training partner's ego is the reason they're not tapping, the reason YOU are having the internal conversation is because YOUR ego crept onto the mat when you weren't looking :)

I will be quiet now and save it for the post(s)

NiceGuyEdy said...

I wrote about this exact same thing... have a look

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thank you very much Edy. Your blog is very honest :o)