Being vs Becoming

This week, I saw a video labeled “Martial Arts: Expectations vs Reality“. It’s a humorous video put out by an MMA gym. The discussion on Reddit revolved around the idea that there are always a lot of guys that come in and want to be a fighter, and you don’t see them in 2 months.

I’ve been clear from day one, I’m not a fighter, and I don’t want to be a fighter. It was one of the first things I mentioned when I talked to the owner at Mid-America.

However, even if I don’t want to ever step in the cage and fight, there are some similarities between BJJ and MMA. BJJ sees a lot of guys come and go. I can think of 1 other person who started within 6 months of me that is still training BJJ. I’ve probably seen 100+ new faces come and go at various stages.

One thing this has highlighted is a belief I’ve had for a long time. A lot of people want to be _____, but they don’t want to become ______.  What you fill in the blanks with is really irrelevant. Some things that are true for a lot of people:

  • rich
  • skinnier
  • successful

We can add fighter here, or “good at BJJ” etc. What it boils down to, is a lot of people want to step into BJJ class and be able to hit an amazing takedown or flying armbar. They want to hit that nice, tight triangle. But they don’t want to work on getting there. Things that are often boring, like base, shrimping, hip movement etc.

To be fair, this isn’t an all or nothing situation. For example, I want to become a blue belt (and eventually all the way through black and beyond.)  I don’t just want to be a black belt, I want to get there.

But at the same time, I want to be 170 pounds, but the idea of eating right to get to 170 is not appealing to me. Until I’m willing to become 170 pounds, I know I’ll stay where I’m at.

To get somewhere, you have to be able to travel the journey that will get you there, and often times that involves pain & suffering.