This skill is important not only in jiu jitsu, but in all areas of life. To have self-respect is to have pride and confidence in yourself, as well as behaving with dignity and honor.
In most cases, respect is the most important rule to live by – mutual respect of others and for yourself. In jiu jitsu, you must respect your coaches, your teammates and even the mat itself, shown by bowing on and off each day. These aspects of respect are generally obvious and can be shown easily. Respecting the gym (and everyone and everything within it) is vital to your success and the success of others, as well as just being a good person.
But self-respect is when you give yourself the same amount of respect as you do others. There will be days where you may walk out feeling like a failure. But you have to respect yourself enough to understand how difficult this martial art is and that everyone has bad days. Be proud of just walking in, and don’t belittle yourself on the way home for having to tap or not being able to roll every round. Another way to show self-respect comes after a tournament. It doesn’t feel great to lose, but everyone has been there. Take the loss with you as an opportunity to grow and learn. If you won every match, what would be the point? If you lose, stand back up and be happy for yourself for going out there and happy for your opponent for winning. It isn’t easy, but you should never lose your own pride or dignity because of the results of one tournament. Be respectful to the referee, the opponent and the opponent’s coach for a hard-fought battle – then be respectful to yourself and understand that small mistakes happen.
Here at Stoic BJJ, we want to instill that level of self-respect within all students, in the fundamental and advanced kids and adult classes. This skill will help each student have a long BJJ journey and avoid giving up because of lost confidence or hurt pride.