The other day, I had an exchange with a new student about dealing with the feeling of being the "odd person out" in class, and feeling like they might detract from the experience of others by having a hard time grasping the movements. I've had so many similar conversations with students over the years, that I wanted to share my response to this most recent situation.
"That's where we can help. I'd be willing to bet that the voices that tell you that you're the odd person out, also tell you other unhelpful things from time to time. But the thing about the path is that everyone struggles. We struggle differently and at different times, but everyone has life to deal with.
Right now, your struggle isn't about grasping MOVEMENTS; it's about grasping the idea that you CAN DO THIS and succeed through the Art of Jiu Jitsu.
You WILL struggle with movements.
I do too.
Part of becoming a Martial Artist is learning to accept and face less than ideal circumstances. Sometimes we wrestle against others; sometimes ourselves.
When you struggle, bring your attention to your breathing. Go slow enough that you can KEEP BREATHING. Doing so will not only help you focus, it will help you to learn the movements more easily. When that happens, you'll know that choosing to work through the discomfort of insecurity was worth it. There SHOULD always be challenges, but over time this process will become less of a "struggle."
You are not the odd one out. It may feel like you aren't where you'd like to be with your movements, but that's precisely why you should come to class tonight. I hope to see you there."
If you're reading this, and you sometimes struggle with your Jiu Jitsu, know that you are not alone. Not by a long shot.
Getting "good" at Jiu Jitsu takes a lot of time, dedication and deliberate practice of proper technique. The good news is...that's ALL it takes! So keep breathing, and go practice.