As a martial artist, you may understand that progressing towards improvement may require going through the ‘grind’. This insightful article will help you understand why it’s worth going through it and how it may look different for each individual martial artist.
The ‘grind’ can often be associated with long miserable hours in the bjj gym or dojo but utilizing the S.H.A.R.K martial arts mentality to define your own ‘grind’ can help create a clear roadmap for your martial arts journey. This can be applied to any style of martial art including jiu jitsu, muay thai, wrestling, judo and more.
Redefining The ‘Grind’ In MMA & Martial Arts
The grind doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. It can be a journey filled with fun and enlightening moments. In many martial arts and even in everyday life an individual may grind their teeth to the bone, stressing for accomplishments with no real reason for doing so. This acronym of S.H.A.R.K can be a great way to easily remind yourself why you are going through the ‘grind’ when things get tough.
Applying these key concepts to your everyday training can be the difference between quitting prematurely and embracing the flow that leads to your best self.
The Grind In Martial Arts as a S.H.A.R.K
Below is an outline of the S.H.A.R.K mentality when it comes to enjoying the grind of martial arts. Flow-through this article at your own pace and apply your individual definitions of each letter to optimize your journey as a martial artist. Express your S.H.A.R.K mindset in the comments below and share this with someone struggling through the ‘grind’.
- Success: Define what success looks like to you. Not all martial artists desire the same as you. One or two stripes on a white belt in BJJ may be the highest form of success someone else wants but if you desire a black belt in jiu-jitsu and to be a high-level striker, your outlook of the first letter ‘S’ will be different. Know what success looks like to you as a martial arts practitioner. It could be the best coach in your local area or a world champion travelling to foreign countries and competing with the best. Define your idea of success.
- Happiness: What does happiness look like to you? Not what society or others project what happiness should be. For some people, rolling around in a jiu jitsu gi doesn’t make them happy but smashing pads and slipping strikes in muay thai or boxing does. If you can only make it to a few martial arts classes a week but need to train more frequently to be happy, try embracing the grind by incorporating a small training area in your home and get in a few extra reps a week to satisfy both your happiness and hunger. Know what makes you happy.
- Ambition: When you know what success looks like to you and what makes you happy, that need to fill an internal hunger can be the driving factor to keep you swimming rather than sinking. You can happily tread water with a defined sense of success but to flow forward, ambition is needed. It may be scary, and uncertainty creeps as the waves ahead come crashing towards you, but that inner hunger will push you forward through those fears and help you enjoy the grind.
- Resilience: As you progress in martial arts such as bjj, you will continue to face larger waves of challenges. This wide range of setbacks can come in the form of injuries, delayed fights, cancelled events or opponent pullouts. It can even come in other forms such as self-doubt, wanting to quit from frustration due to not understanding a technique or being tapped out over and over again, being dropped by a high-kick. The list goes on. The negative moments that martial artists will inevitably fight can be reduced by becoming resilient.
- Kindness: The grind can break many of us, martial artists. It’s a combat sport designed to physically defend yourself in a controlled way. Its nature can be to cause physical harm in a sanctioned competition. This goes back to defining your success. If success looks like losing weight through martial arts and not becoming a professional MMA fighter, don’t be too hard on yourself if you are ‘grinding’ to keep up with the Pro team but you are struggling to do so. If your goal is to be a healthy lifelong bjj practitioner and you are feeling stiff and over trained, be kind to yourself and take the day off to practice some yoga. Be kind to yourself, your coaches and your training partners so that everyone can enjoy the grind.
Embrace The Grind or Enjoy The Grind In Jiu Jitsu?
If you are looking for a different approach to embracing the grind and would like to enjoy it as well, I encourage you to apply the S.H.A.R.K martial arts mentality in your training sessions and lifestyle as a Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner and martial artist. Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to see how this has benefited your mindset and approach towards the ‘grind’
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