In any combat sports competition, we can often say that the person who made the second to last mistake is the winner.
This is especially true for submission grappling or no-holds-barred fighting, where victory is absolute.
The key, then, isn’t to be flawless. That’s impossible, and also unnecessary. Rather, the key is to be just slightly better than your opponent.
Often competitors get way too focused on not making mistakes, or on all the attributes or skills their opponents bring to the table. But unless we are competing at the highest level, where rigorous study of our opponent’s abilities is a necessary effort for developing a strategy, our focus should primarily be on our own output and performance, not on avoidance and outcome.
If we can perform close to our potential, and we have the conditioning and toughness to support a high level of output, then we should expect to do well. Oftentimes this means winning. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Unfortunately, your opponent gets a say about who gets to win and who has to lose, so half of the fight is completely out of your hands.
All you can really do is prepare, and go into each challenge with the objective of performing well at a high output. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. So will they!
But If we are able to make the second to last mistake, often we’ll win. It’s pretty simple–no need to complicate things!