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Default Aggressive BJJ
Can Aggression Be a Good Thing?
Aggression in BJJ is often frowned upon, and rightly so. Practicing chokes and mangling limbs is a touchy game. One must be tactile while practicing the art. Finding where and how to use aggression in BJJ is an essential skill.
For example, someone who doesn’t know anything about BJJ might hear the word choke and immediately start looking for the nearest cross fit club. Overcoming fear can be the biggest impediment to joining an academy. That said, one must face their fears. Being aggressive doesn’t always mean gritting your teeth and smashing your opponent, although sometimes (self-defense) that’s exactly what is needed.
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Exposing oneself to a fear is paramount to overcoming that fear. How many times have you heard the statement “just keep showing up”, or “keep walking through the door”? When someone watches a BJJ class it is easy to see that it is more than just fighting or choking people. Sadly, that’s how a lot of average people perceive BJJ. Exposing a new person to a well-structured class should eliminate some of the fear that they have carried in with them.
One can also define aggression as being proactive or assertive. Being assertive is a fairly important social skill. Nobody makes you walk through the door. It is something that we choose on our own accord. By taking that first step through the door we start to eliminate some of the questions and concerns that are keeping us from the mats. What if I get hurt? What if I hurt someone else? What will I learn? All of these questions are appropriate. No answers will be given from the safety and comfort of your own home.
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Walking through the door and being a part of the environment will start to help us get over “paralysis by over analysis”. The human mind is very good at asking questions, especially if you have a pre-inclination that some discomfort might come your way.
For the seasoned vet who has overcome their fear of training, you too can benefit by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. The new game today is all about leg locks. People are terrified. Be default aggressive when new styles or games emerge. Immersing yourself in uncomfortable territory is what you already overcame when you first started. New situations can be solved with prior experience. Staying on the sidelines and asking “what if” will only be a detriment to your long term game.