"Lose the ego at the door" is a saying that I've heard time and time again. It was written on the wall of my old BJJ academy, and is advice that is passed down consistently from more experienced BJJ coaches to their students.
How important exactly is it to lose the ego and why should people do it?
For me, the main benefit of doing so results in a willingness to experiment in class.
Instead of worrying about always tapping out everyone I roll with by playing a tight game and essentially drilling what I already know, I try out positions and strategies that will ultimately let me defeat higher level opponents in the future.
A great example is the person at the gym who is amazing at one submission. It may be a foot lock, a guillotine, or something else. This person always goes for it, and just worries about tapping out everybody with it. This is at the cost of sweeping, guard passing, and transitional positions/set ups.
Although his technique is refined through so much repetition, when higher level opponents easily defend that one move, that person's entire game is such down.
A lot of people go through this phase, but some people get stuck in it longer than others, mainly due to the ego. So leave the ego at the door!
Now an awesome way to take the back from half guard.