From Game to Jiu-Jitsu: My Three Keys to Learning Any Skill

How did I, as an overweight 41-year-old, see more success in learning jiu-jitsu than I did as a super fit 21-year-old?

The answers will surprise you, while also revealing powerful insights about improving your game.

While jiu-jitsu and game seem very distinct, these two disciplines share similar fundamental principles that contribute to personal growth and self-improvement.

I guess I’m a lover AND a fighter.

You see, whether you’re grappling on the mat or push-pulling in a daygame set, you should be making a conscious effort to recognize your VICTORIES.

For myself as a jiu-jitsu newbie, that means celebrating holding my ground while under duress from a more skilled opponent.

As a beginner in game, that can mean giving yourself a pat on the back for approaching a girl and giving her a compliment, regardless of the outcome.

Early in your journey toward mastering a skill, it is crucial to embrace your victories, no matter how small, to fuel your fire and keep yourself going.

To demonstrate the importance of perseverance, let me share one of a powerful quote I’ve reminded myself of during this return to jiu-jitsu…

“A black belt is just a white belt who never quit.”

The same is true in game.

But how exactly do you keep yourself going?

It starts with finding your “why” – that burning desire that propels you forward, even when faced with adversity. 

In jiu-jitsu, that may be a desire to defend yourself.

In game, that may be a desire to have the dating life you’ve always wanted.

But finding your “why” alone is not enough.

You must pair that with a specific game plan that you believe will get you to your goal. Then, with that gameplan in-hand, take action. 

Review your results, iterate, and take more action.


Rinse and repeat.

Lastly, I’ve gotten much better at jiu-jitsu by taking control of my own learning experience. My professors are very helpful, but I don’t solely rely on them to learn.

I take a proactive approach in seeking knowledge and experimenting with my techniques.

This has massively accelerated my learning curve. 

The same is true for game. 

Don’t just mindlessly repeat things you hear me say.

Going out, taking your OWN action, and seeing what works for you is crucial for your success.

With these tools in your arsenal…

Mastery may arrive sooner than you think.

-Todd V

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