Zenyo Process: Creating Big Dividends From Small Wins

Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Process
At Zenyo Jiu Jitsu, we start with process. Process is the path to success. Moment by moment, you can win the process. Creating these small wins pays big dividends.

When I first started Jiu Jitsu, I wanted to learn submissions and techniques. That was all I wanted to learn. Along the way, however, I learned something much more important. I learned about the process.

The process is the science of setting — and achieving — goals. The process is focusing on the small steps that make the big steps possible. Everything gets broken down into smaller and smaller steps: small wins. Too small to fail is the idea behind the process. 

The steps of the process are accomplished by focusing on four key areas: Mindset, Teamwork, Performance and Technique. These four combined together provide a complete framework to achieving your goals. 

Understanding how to apply the process can give you a way to improve every aspect of your life. Process is the path to success. Moment by moment, you can win the process. Creating these small wins pays big dividends. 

The Practicing Mind


“Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort of refining our motions. When the proper mechanics of practice are understood, the task of learning something new becomes a stress-free experience of joy and calmness, a process which settles all areas in your life and promotes proper perspective on all of life’s difficulties.” 

– Thomas Sterner

There is only this,
doing small things
with great love —
the task at hand —
a world in a
grain of sand.
Ripples Zenyo Jiu Jitsu
Zenyo Jiu Jitsu

*inspired by the words of William Blake, Francis Bacon and Mother Teresa


Positive Thinking

Mindset is the secret to success: believing in yourself is the most important concept for creating success in life. 

The great news is that we can train and improve our thoughts and beliefs. The brain is always capable not just of learning but of changing throughout the entirety of life. Scientists call this “neuroplasticity” — the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. 

“Just as our brains can be wired in ways that hold us back, we can retrain them to scan for the good things in life — to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels,” writes Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.

Every single thing we do in life is a skill — and all skills are learned through practice. Change is possible, growth is possible, success is possible. 

You just have to believe in yourself. Belief is where the process starts. 

Read more on the Zenyo Blog: https://zenyojiujitsu.com/the-most-important-concept-in-jiu-jitsu/


Better Together

New research shows that we do much better together, not alone. Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor writes about this in his book Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness and Well-Being. 

“By helping those around you improve their creativity, their productivity, their abilities, their performance, and more,” Achor writes, “you are not only helping the group become better; you are exponentially increasing your own potential for success.”

Big Potential details a study to measure perception of difficulty for a hill climb. Researchers found that if you look at a hill and judge how steep it is, the presence of others around you changes how you see the hill. A friend by your side makes the hill seem 10 to 20 percent less steep.  

A stunning finding, Achor calls it. 

“Perception of your objective, physical world is transformed by including others in your pursuit of achievement,” he writes. “Mentally and physically, mountains seem more climbable, successes more achievable, and obstacles more surmountable with others beside us.” 

Read more on the Zenyo Blog: https://zenyojiujitsu.com/the-most-important-idea-in-jiu-jitsu/


Active Retrieval

You have the power to speed up your learning of Jiu Jitsu by a staggering percentage. You don’t have to spend more time on the mat; add extra training days; watch videos non-stop in your free time. You don’t have to do anything extra—you just have to change the way you practice. 

By changing the way you approach learning, you can speed up your progress by nearly 1.5 times. 

“The uncomfortable reality is this,” Peter Brown writes in Make It StickThe Science of Successful Learning. “The most effective learning strategies do not feel productive, whereas the less effective strategies we often favor create illusions of mastery.”

“Mastery requires understanding of the concepts behind a (subject), connecting them to what you already know and elaborating on them in your own (way). For memory to be durable, you need to periodically practice retrieving it.”

Read more on the Zenyo Blog: https://zenyojiujitsu.com/learn-jiu-jitsu-fast/


Neutral Spine

Jiu Jitsu is all about moving your body. Understanding how to create the best conditions for movement is vital to developing your Jiu Jitsu. And one skill above all others is critical—learning to move while maintaining a neutral spine.

A neutral spine protects you from injury and creates a stable base for Jiu Jitsu’s athletic movements. Every aspect of your Jiu Jitsu improves when you learn to maintain a neutral spine. Your takedowns get better; your passing is quicker and more balanced; your base is stronger; everything you do is better.

To build a strong, stable and pain-free back, you need to focus on keeping your spine in neutral.

“Although motion through the back is only natural and promotes healthy tissue, our spine is at its strongest, most resilient and most supported position when it is in neutral,” writes Stuart McGill, Ph.D. McGill is a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada where he has a world-renowned research clinic devoted to studying back pain and rehabilitation. McGill is considered the expert on issues related to the back and spine. Back Mechanic: The Secrets To A Healthy Spine Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You is essential reading for all Jiu Jitsu students.

“Being mentally aware and engaged in our movement patterns is fundamental in creating pain-free posture and movement. Your success rests in your ability to move mindfully and to be conscious and aware of your movements. Be aware of your spine posture,” McGill writes. 

Read more on the Zenyo Blog: https://zenyojiujitsu.com/the-most-important-skill-in-jiu-jitsu/


In The Practicing Mind: Master Any Skill Or Challenge By Learning To Love The Process, Thomas Sterner writes “if you have never considered it, think about how everything we learn and master in life, from walking and tying our shoes to saving money and raising a child, is accomplished through a form of practice, something we repeat over and over again. For the most part, we are not aware of the process , but that is how good practice manifests itself when done properly.”

The process is the goal. By improving the process, you improve everything you do. Judo black belt, movement architect and author Moshe Feldenkrais said, “Life is a process. Improve the process and you improve life itself.” 



The process gives you the tools to rise to your best. Every day at Zenyo we see students transform through hard work. Read their stories about achieving greater levels of confidence and strength to conquer challenges, on and off the mat. 

Learn The Most Important Skills And Ideas To Master In Jiu Jitsu

About Author

Zenyo Jiu Jitsu

Zenyo Jiu Jitsu is the premier Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in Baltimore, Maryland. Zenyo is run by John David Emmett, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with more than 20 years experience.

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