12 Rules For Jiu-Jitsu

Or life, I guess.

Chris Wojcik


Rule 0: Buy the merch bruv! — Photo by MJ — San Diego, CA

A few years ago, I read a book by the psychologist Jordan Peterson called 12 Rules For Life.

Around that time, a lot of people were mad about Peterson’s political views — a lot of which were and are fairly controversial — but this article isn’t about that. This article isn’t even really about him or his book. This article was actually inspired by an episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History.

This article is about Jiu-Jitsu lessons, life lessons, and how they relate together.

Instead of “12 rules for life” — I can give you rules for life in the world of Jiu-Jitsu. After sitting with my thoughts for a while, I managed to come up with 12 of them.

Luckily, I think a lot of them will help you in normal life too.

1. Tap early — especially in practice.

Injuries happen — both on the mat and in life — but most of the time, they’re our fault and completely avoidable.

When you think carefully about it, most injuries that happen are not “freak accidents”. They have a root cause and usually, the root cause is your own stubbornness, pushing yourself too hard, or some other error of the ego.

Don’t be stubborn over things that don’t matter. The result of a training round is one of those things.

Learn to see the bigger picture.

2. You get out what you put in.

This isn’t really advice as much as it is a warning. It’s a rule that I’ve found and believed to be true.

If you train 3 times a day, you’ll get better results than someone who trains once per day. If you post articles every day, you’ll get better results than someone who posts once per week.

At the same, however, you also have to deal with the consequences and side effects of your choices. Overtraining, haters, injuries, and more.

Don’t give more than you can handle.

3. Don’t bother white belts while they are playing.

This is directly from the guy's book, but instead of white belts, he talks about children.