Tenacity: 1. the quality of holding fast; persistence 2. the quality of retaining something 3. the quality or property of holding together firmly

This weeks powerful word of the week is Tenacity. Tenacity is defined as: 1. the quality of holding fast; persistence, 2. the quality of retaining something, and 3. the quality or property of holding together firmly. I love the sound of the word tenacious. I have always strived to be tenacious in my game on and off the mat. I personally feel though, that I have a better definition for the word tenacity in regards to jiu jitsu.

I personally think we should define Tenacity as “strength with a purpose. It’s not just being persistent or stubborn or obstinate or refusing to give up. Tenacity is keeping forward momentum going with a game plan, a strategy, and the determination to keep your dreams alive in the face of seeming insurmountable odds.” Tenacity is not something that you are born with or just naturally gifted with. I believe that Tenacity is something you cultivate by overcoming obstacles. This is how you begin to develop your forward momentum, which naturally makes your commitment and belief in your game stronger. Lets go through an example… You are a white belt and it’s your first month at your academy. You have been introduced to a technique from closed guard that involves you sweeping your partner and coming up on top in the mounted position. You begin by drilling the technique with a partner that offers no resistance. In the beginning you experience a little bit of an issue with the movements, but through some practice you begin to feel proficient enough to give it a try in a live roll. (forward momentum begins to build) Although there still is some doubt in your mind if you will be able to be successful with a bigger stronger opponent. After drilling you positionally roll from the bottom in closed guard and attempt the techniques that you have been working on. In some ways you are successful but it feels like too much work. A couple weeks go by and you have continued to try the techniques in live situations with varying partners of size and strength. Eventually you experience an, “ah ah moment.” This is where everything comes together. The details of the technique are executed with the right timing and it feels effortless to complete the technique. (more forward momentum is built) Now your belief in the technique is considerably greater than when you first learned it. You now seek this technique with a tenacity that you lacked before. It is at this point in time that i believe you can now say that you have added another technique to your game. 

Jiu Jitsu was made for the person facing insurmountable odds. It was not developed for the bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic person. It was developed so the smaller, weaker, slower, and less athletic person could use angles, leverage and movement to dominate and submit their opponent. For this reason we can truly say that jiu jitsu is for everyone! It takes tenacity though to truly become proficient at the details of this art. This week think about your game. What areas are you more tenacious in. Where do you need to build some forward momentum in your game. Be tenacious in your quest for knowledge. Be tenacious in your training. Do this and i promise you will overcome insurmountable odds!  


Professor Jason Yerrington

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