How To Learn Through Defeat and Success In Jiu-Jitsu

Scott Miller BJJ | Flow Club BJJ

Learning through defeat or success is important. There is always something we can learn from competition, training, or even spectating. Whether in defeat or success, it's important to take something away. It could be a new technique, mindset, or strategy. Whatever the case is, it's important to realize you can learn from various experiences and sometimes those experiences are not even yours. Not focusing too much on wins or losses is a good habit to practice. Focus on learning.

Learning through defeat

I feel learning through defeat is probably the most powerful ways to learn. Some of the most painful learning lessons after a loss, for me, have completely changed my game for the better. Often, it's the most painful way to learn, but the more painful the lesson; the more likely you are to integrate the lesson. When you lose because you had the wrong strategy, or a technical mistake, it's easy to find the solution. When you win, it's actually more difficult to point out the mistakes you made and fix it. It is key to stay positive when you lose. Remember: feedback not failure. Of course it's much easier said than done. It's ok to be upset or frustrated when you lose. As long as you take something away from the experience that's all that matters.

Learning through success


This is very difficult to do actually. Being critical of yourself after a victory is hard to do. Having your coach or professor breakdown footage and watching you is probably the best way to get feedback after a win. Remember what you did right and tweak the things you did wrong.


Learning through spectating or visualization

This is one of my strongest ways of learning. I have sat through countless hours spectating Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and MMA. Whether it was because I was hurt, watching my older brothers, or coaching I enjoy studying people's games and how they react in certain situations. I have learned some of my most impactful techniques and lessons from watching others compete or train. Taking notes mentally or on a notepad is important when watching. Using visualization is also a valuable way of learning. Visualizing yourself in certain situations can be practice for when you actually find yourself in that situation. It will at least give you a guide on how to deal with tough situations, and you'll find yourself more calm when put to the test. You can also use visualization to practice techniques you learned in class and fix the minutiae that make the technique more effective. Going over techniques and mindsets in your head can be a way you practice when you can't be at practice.


Always be learning

Whether you learn best from defeat, victory, spectating, or visualization. The key is to always be learning. Don't get too caught up on victories or defeats. That's the nature of competing in BJJ, MMA, or any other activity. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Stay focused on what you learned and not how you did. Enjoy the process of learning. The best thing about Jiu-Jitsu is that there is always something to be learned. You will never learn all there is to learn about Jiu-Jitsu. The journey never ends. Always learn.