Does Training BJJ Make You Crazy?
Anyone who finds their way into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy and onto those mats can speak to what a unique and life-changing activity BJJ can be. Your first few classes may be a whirlwind of heavy breathing, confusion and fatigue but at the end of the session you will feel different than you have after any other workout. And by different, I mean better. Your body will almost be abuzz with a new kind of energy. If you are like the majority of practitioners who have been training for a while, those early white belt days are filled with sweat, sore muscles, and a fire in your mind and heart.
It won't be long before jiu jitsu begins to creep into other areas of your life. One day you will find yourself watching technique videos on your work computer or shopping for a fancy new Gi when once you would be at the coffee machine shooting the breeze about the latest Netflix series with your coworkers. Your friends and family will find themselves listening to you ramble on about the upcoming ADCC brackets and how you wish Dillon Danis would end up locked in a room with the entire Danaher Death Squad for a few minutes.
Once your peers and family see this is something that you are going to stick with, they may go as far as to call you obsessed or even crazy for wanting to spend all of your free time grappling with other adults and talking about BJJ. You may even have a few moments when you question your own sanity after a tough class, where maybe the move just doesn't make sense and you wonder if this activity is really for you.
Recently BJJ world champion, ADCC and UFC veteran Tom DeBlass sat down with Ryan Ford of The Grappling Central Podcast to discuss a number of topics. To listen to Tom DeBlass' most recent visit to the Grappling Central Podcast, you can click this link to access the episode.
During episode 217, Ryan asked Tom if he felt that jiu jitsu attracted people who were "off." Tom's response was simple:
"You know, I think most people think that it's the jiu jitsu people that are crazy and I often say that all jiu jitsu people are crazy, but the reality is the world is crazy and the jiu jitsu people are the ones who admit it."
What could Professor DeBlass mean by this statement that jiu jitsu practitioners are crazy and not afraid to admit it? Let's take a look at a few ideas.
The Honesty of BJJ
Progress in BJJ is slow and painstakingly tough. In today's fast-paced world of instant gratification and the desire for immediate results, or quick fixes, it's rare to find something that takes so much time and diligence to become competent at. At BJJ class, people of all ages and walks of life join together to face their own fears and limitations and learn to become stronger and more proficient at this martial art. On many days, you may walk out of the academy feeling momentarily defeated, but in the return to class the next session, you will have become stronger and move another step towards your goal.
The road to black belt is sadly only finished by a small percentage of the people who make it through their first class. Modern society fills our days with endless distractions that take our minds off of our fears, our weaknesses, and our unfulfilled potential. Training jiu jitsu reveals those things every day at every class.
Never ending BJJ
The average practitioner spends a decade or more training BJJ before they achieve the coveted black belt. Once achieved the average person might think you are some sort of deadly assassin, but according to most high level practitioners, the black belt is a way point on the journey to something even bigger which might be seen as jiu jitsu mastery, which is something that arguably might be impossible to achieve.
In the video below, Tom DeBlass talks a little bit about his team and training philosophy.
So does Jiu Jitsu make your crazy? Or does it attract crazy people? Many people start jiu jitsu to get healthier, lose weight, to build confidence, or to gain the camaraderie that can be found at most academies. But once the art sinks it's proverbial hooks into your life, you may find yourself thinking about it constantly. Non practitioners may call this an obsession, whereas you call it a passion. Don't be afraid to embrace your 'BJJ crazy' and use the honesty the art can bring to every aspect of your life. Who knows, maybe you'll be the first to master it.
To learn more about the position Tom DeBlass is most crazy about nowadays, check out his 4 DVD instructional series "Half Domination" where you will learn all of the secrets of both his top and bottom half guard games. It is available here today for only $77!