It is important to have confidence in yourself when training. Every time you enter your academy you should assume that you are going to do the best you can, and have the confidence to think that you can beat anyone there. That doesn’t mean be cocky, or hurt your opponent for the pursuit of victory; it just means that you shouldn’t immediately think you are going to lose when you spar with a teammate that regularly gets the better of you. Instead, fight with confidence and find victory in every defeat.
Finding victory in defeat sounds like a ridiculous notion, but regularly finding personal victories in your losses will actually improve your game over time. Personal victories are great way to acess the process in your game.
I’ll give you a personal example. There is a monster wrestler that trains at my academy. He takes everyone down there effortlessly. Every day he takes me down with his first shot. I know he is going to take me down, but I don’t let that affect the way that I wrestle with him. I try to win with 100% effort, and my goal for the longest time was to defend that first shot. Eventually I was able to defend one, but he was able to take me down on the second try.
Sure, he was definitely setting up the second shot with his first, and his first shot may have not even been a 100 percent shot, but up until that day I had not even been able to stop the first one. He ended up taking me down on the second try, but I had been concentrating on stopping that first shot for weeks, and eventually it paid off. That personal victory was a product of setting a goal and training to reach that goal. I would have loved to have gotten the takedown myself, but that personal victory set me up for creating new goals I can reach.
Now my goal is to stop that second shot. It will take a lot of effort and training to reach that goal, but I am looking for that personal victory that will cause constant improvement. I am training with a guy that is leaps and bounds ahead of me at a particular skill. Though he beats me easily in wrestling, that doesn’t mean that I can’t win in my own way by even achieving the smallest goal, like stopping the first takedown.
This is a prime example for what you can do to improve your game. If you are training with a skilled black belt, work on stopping a certain position, or work on getting back to a better position even if it is for a mere second. If you are training with a superior striker work on landing that one combination that you just can’t land on him or her.
There are countless ways to find victory in defeat. Creating these goals will allow you to focus on what you NEED to focus on, instead of just focusing on the win within the gym. Use the dojo as a lab to work new things and reach new goals.