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Martial Arts and Motivation

Martial Arts and Motivation

Martial Arts and Motivation


During Murilo Bustamante’s seminar last week, a student asked: Is your perseverance in martial arts a result of your training or your personality? And how do you remain motivated?

These are questions that all martial artists have wrestled with at one point or another. Martial arts requires years of dedication and patience. It demands that you eat well, and prioritize sleep, stretching, and your overall health rather than overindulging in late nights out or junk food.


While it’s possible to do both, unhealthy habits and extensive martial arts training don’t mix well, and your body will pay for it sooner or later.

As a matter of fact, Master Marcus doesn’t even drink alcohol. He is so set on his jiu jitsu life path, that he doesn’t want anything to get in the way of his conditioning, which is necessary for him to teach his students at the highest level.

Of course, no one is saying to be perfect. We all indulge once in a while with some beers or eat a pint of ice cream by ourselves. But the point is that jiu jitsu is a way of life, and you can’t try to live two lives at once. Choose your habits wisely.


Making and breaking habits is what can stall or ignite someone’s motivation. If your goals are long term, then chances are that you’ll still be training at our gym in the next five years. However, if your goals are short term, losing a pound or two here, getting some rock hard abs in a month–don’t come with too high expectations. You won’t get the results you want immediately. And to reap the benefits, you must be invested.


In the same way that you set time aside for morning rituals like brushing your teeth or drinking your coffee, you should make time for jiu jitsu. It comes down to the basic principle of necessity. In today’s world we’ve become very inactive with our sedentary lifestyle. Long hours at the office, family, and other demands bog down our free time and suck up all our energy. Jiu jitsu re-energizes us with movement and teaches us to see our bodies as incredible, powerful instruments. Who wouldn’t want to take a break from the daily grind to feel healthy and confident?

But to get to that oh-so-craved stage of “I did it”, you need to incorporate jiu jitsu into your daily life, and make a habit of it. It requires constant maintenance, so don’t stop! As a habit, jiu jitsu becomes natural. Hell, I slept in the shrimping position for MONTHS once I made a habit of going to class at least three times per week.

All in all, there’s no need to worry, because if you put in the time, your body will adapt quickly.

But the best part of the sport, by far, is watching yourself grow and improve. You want to stay motivated? Then keep your eye on the prize. See the big picture. Imagine all the potential you have, who you’d like to become, and work towards that goal. Make your belief in yourself absolute. There’s no room to doubt yourself, only room to learn from your mistakes and try again!

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