Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2021


The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners and the role that failure plays in their sport. Four male BJJ practitioners, three of which had obtained the rank of black belt and one purple belt participated in the study. Guided by Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al., 2009), three semi-repeated interviews and a singular journal entry were completed with each participant. The final analysis of the interviews and journal entries provided insight into the importance of community and failure as it pertains to personal growth, and the role coaches and teammates play in assisting with that growth. Findings also reveal the positive and negative consequences of failure in BJJ, specific to the tenants of Conroy’s (2001b) fear of failure. These discoveries provide a deeper understanding of an emerging sport in BJJ and provide multiple implications for gym owners, coaches, and practitioners.


Sport, Fear of Failure, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Document Type


Degree Name

Physical Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Allison Smith

Second Committee Member

Dr. Todd Seidler

Third Committee Member

Dr. Karen

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Teri Flowerday