“Whenever you get into a crisis or an emergency, become the calmest person in the room. You’ll be able to figure your way out.” – Rudy Giuliani
Life will test us.
I was reminded of this last week during a Jiu Jitsu sparring session.
A larger, stronger opponent wrestled me to the ground.
He tried to submit me while I was in an awkward position.
For a moment – I FROZE.
- I held my breath.
- I forgot my training.
- I made the situation worse.
PANIC started to creep in.
How we respond to PRESSURE defines who we are.
PRESSURE is a given, PANIC is optional.
We have to be PREPARED to operate in less than ideal circumstances.
We must learn to get comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
I learned that life will knock us down when we:
- Get complacent.
- Don’t prepare
- Lose focus.
The ONE THING we can’t do is PANIC.
Here is what I learned in Jiu Jitsu about stopping PANIC and remaining CALM while almost getting choked unconscious:
- BREATH: My first step in this situation was to focus on my breathing. I took slow, deep breaths. This calmed my body & mind.
- STAY CALM: Controlling my breathing gave me the ability to relax. It’s amazing how staying calm slows the situation down.
- ASSESS: With a clear mind, I was able to assess my immediate need – to create space. This would allow me to maneuver out of that bad position.
- CREATE OPPORTUNITY: After creating some space, I was able to make minor adjustments that made a huge difference.
- SURVIVE: Winston Churchill said, “When you are going through hell – keep going.” I kept making adjustments until I found my opportunity to escape.
- LEARN: Afterwards, I took a moment to reflect on what I learned and how to prevent that situation from happening again.
- SHARE: I incorporated the lesson in the very next GRACIE Basics class I taught. No need for my students (or me) to repeat that mistake.
PANIC under pressure is AVERAGE.
The feeling of getting up after being knocked down is REMARKABLE.
– Joe Ciccarone
Well said Joe, being calm is a learned skill. Thanks for sharing.