Jiu-Jitsu is the art of saying No!

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Caio Terra “keeps the imaginary opponent at bay” with a hip movement that’s vital in Jiu-Jitsu defense. Photo by  Terence Bordon/GRACIEMAG.

To become a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, and one of whom a teacher can be proud, the first thing you have to do is say, “Yes!” and accept the invitation to do your first Jiu-Jitsu training session. After that, though, it’s all about saying, “No!” and keeping a number of unnecessary things out of your life.

For every no, you lose a dozen kilos and gain a dose of self-confidence.

Recently, your favorite Jiu-Jitsu magazine printed a list of 42 things that don’t go together with the life of a clear-headed Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. What follows are just five of them.

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1. Say no to shortcuts!

Endurance, strength, skill—it all comes with time. Don’t resort to performance-enhancing substances. It won’t be long before you pay a price you can’t afford, if you do.

2. Say no to arrogance

Don’t underestimate anyone at the Jiu-Jitsu academy. That “old-fogey” stretching over in the corner of the dojo may well be a master of whom you’ve never heard. That newcomer who showed up for the first time could turn out to be a stalwart sparring partner. Train seriously and with safety in mind, always.

3. Say no to omission

Don’t hide Jiu-Jitsu from your friends—get them to train at your school with you. You’ll see how much more fun it makes training.

4. Say no to envy

You can have as many role models in Jiu-Jitsu as you see fit. But don’t be envious of the way someone else’s trajectory or game is going. Repeating your teacher or colleague’s history is next to impossible. Don’t get frustrated because you’re not

at the same level as one of your mat mates. One day, when you least expect it, you’ll be a role model to someone who thinks you’re great.

5. Say no to heroism

There’s no room for heroics at a Jiu-Jitsu academy. If the hold is in snug, tap out without thinking twice. The trauma you may cause your teacher, friends and your very self isn’t worth it—not to mention the weeks sidelined from training.

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