One of the biggest benefits I gain from judo and jiu jitsu is an understanding and control over my ego.
There’s something about being armbared and choked that sets me off on a self-analysis that in the end makes me a better person. What I mean by “better” is an understanding of my place in the world, along with a greater respect for other people.
Sometimes, rarely these days, I’ll lose my temper. It doesn’t really reveal itself in anything I do on the mat, but I just feel a mix of frustration and anger. Last time it happened for me I remember was a month ago when I tried a butterfly sweep on a blue belt (and overall good guy) and he crossed the knee a little too hard, stuffing the sweep but also hurting me a bit. My body was exhausted, my mind was frustrated. I tried to reguard but couldn’t. Nothing was working. Unlike usually when I just keep trying, keep working to improve position, I stopped and when the set ended I walked off the mat. I was embarrassed for how much frustration I was feeling from something that is just part of jiu jitsu. I really didn’t understand the source of it. I just sat watching the sets, breathing, and 5 minutes later was fine.
Such incidents, as rare and insignificant as they might seem, is how I progress towards a calmer outlook on life, allowing me to deal better with difficult stressful situations on and off the mat.