The Ego in Jiu Jitsu

The EGO in Jiu Jitsu is very common, but how often does this spill out and affect our life? When we think of our achievements, those moments where we have succeeded like: being a champion, financial achievement, work promotions, being popular, liked, admired, having a million followers or whatever other goal we have, BEWARE. This is exactly where your worst enemy — your EGO — lives.

There is a huge difference between having and being — having medals doesn’t mean being a champion, having money doesn’t mean being rich, the second option is much deeper. It’s not about the medals or your bank account — but rather about attitude.

 The most common thing we see in Jiu Jitsu are champions who don’t understand this difference; they believe in the character created — not only by others but also by themselves. Do not fall into this trap because it creates the illusion of having it all and consequently removing that motivation to keep improving.

The eternal search for the best version of yourself keeps you from deluding yourself with what is not true, and the EGO is not true, so keep evolving.  EGO goes against the idea of belonging because it drives you away from the group, or the team. EGO says you should shine more than others, that you are more important than others, and deserve to be more than others. This sense of entitlement is harmful and self-perpetuates into a constant quest for external validation.

The EGO kills kindness and empathy — it makes you believe in the façade, but you know deep down this is a lie. That incongruency will make you suffer.

This ego trip in Jiu Jitsu leads many teachers to a very common mistake: using their own name on the kimono patch and consequently in their academy. What is the big problem with that? The argument being that everybody does, and it was always that way…

It’s true, I also did that. I had my academy named “Fabio Gurgel Jiu Jitsu,” up until I partnered with Jacaré, and decided it would be better to have a name without being linked to an individual. We created “Master Jiu Jitsu” which would later become Alliance Jiu Jitsu. The main point of this mistake is that it limits you. You’ll only ever be able to have students under you that haven’t achieved as much. Again, your EGO is in control assuming that you will always be the champion, and that everyone needs to keep carrying your name. You look, and analyze but you can’t see the truth, still believing that your name is essential for your business — it isn’t — it’s only your EGO that prevents you from seeing.

The reality is different, think of the biggest Jiu Jitsu teams today, which ones have their own name? None, right? It’s a sign, which I hope will make you think. Rather than having your name imprinted on everything, worry about how you do your job as you help and guide people around you.  Let your work speak for itself. Always strive to BE instead of HAVE, stay humble.

A big hug and see you soon,  Fabio Gurgel


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