It’s hard to imagine but so much can really change in a week. I’ve had a lot of influential milestones in my jiu jitsu journey but if I had to pick out an important milestone (for now) I would say that the WPJJC 2012 experience is definitely the apex of my milestones.

While I was there I really felt like a small town girl who just came to the big city. The scene is so small in my country with only a handful of girls training and only 4 female blue belts in the entire country. Everything at the WPJJC is just so much larger than life. The WPJJC is my first international comp I’ve ever attended and definitely the largest.

Since coming back to Malaysia I’ve noticed a difference in my approach to jiu jitsu and also in my demeanor at training.

I guess being around so many BJJ legends and heroes was just so inspiring. I would say it was the 4 days before the competition that were the most valuable for me. For me the WPJJC matches is just the icing on the cake. To get up close in person with them, to actually roll with others and to actually train with a few? Priceless.

Talking and observing them gave me an insight into the mind of a competitor and how you can’t accept anything less than perfection. I actually know someone who wasn’t happy with their bronze and proceeded to throw it away because it wasn’t gold. I see the fire in the bellies and the hunger in their eyes and how literally jiu jitsu is their life.

So how does that cascade down towards me? I don’t do this full time and will probably never do it full time. Someone told me how everyone wants to train BJJ full time but actually they really don’t because it’s so damn hard there are days that you wake up and just want to throw everything away.

But then I also talked to people who don’t do BJJ full time but train just as hard and do pretty well at the World Pros (ok granted they are blues and purples but…)

So here’s the most important thing I’ve learnt in my time during Abu Dhabi, mat time is important for sure but the focus and the mindset towards jiu jitsu and during training is even more important. The focus and mindset is what sets apart all those competitors in Abu Dhabi (full time or not).

The purple belt in my gym gives me hope because he doesn’t train full time (he works in a bank) but his jiu jitsu is just really really world class level sick. Whenever he comes to train, he gives 200%. Even when he’s resting in between rolls I see him observing others and for him jiu-jitsu is always on his mind… off and on the mats, all the time just like the champions I saw at Abu Dhabi. So although he doesn’t train full time like 6 hours a day, 2 or 3 times day… it’s his attitude in training that really sets him apart from the rest in my gym and also why he’s so frickin good.

Rolling with the best not only showed me how far I’ve come but also how far I really need to go. I’ve got some really really big jiu-jitsu plans for the 2nd half of this year and I feel that this is the right time to do so (where age and career and family aren’t too big of problems). And while I don’t train full time… I’m going to make the most of whatever little time I have by changing my mindset towards training and with added focus.

And while I honestly didn’t do well in my rolls against a lot of the higher level girls in Abu Dhabi, it did give me a good yardstick on what I’m good at and what I really need to work on. So (and this is a 100% stolen from Monstrinha) instead of saying I can’t do it and that I can’t hang with these world class blues, for now I’m going to say I can’t…. yet.

But you bet I’m going to train my butt off so I can…

Train hard, Train more and Train always!