How To Get Others To Start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Spread the word, Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone!
Being a long time practitioner, I believe that it is a responsibility of mine to spread the word about jiu-jitsu. Actually, I believe that it is the responsibility of all that train jiu jitsu to be ambassadors for the sport. If you are serious about your training, and believe in jiu-jitsu (which you should!), then you should be trying to get people through the doors of your gym.
It is easy to see the great benefits that jiu-jitsu has to offer when we are training regularly. It is a whole different story when you are on the outside looking in. Jiu-jitsu is a potentially odd looking thing when viewed from the outside. A bunch of people, mostly all men, in silly suit, sweating, and breathing on each other. Everyone is trying to choke one another, and keep each other pinned to the ground. It's odd when you write it out this way.
But, we are responsible to get people past that. We know it is more than just the above. And, as practitioners, it is our responsibility to get people interested. Light a fire, or even just create a spark…
This can be a tough thing, as jiu-jitsu is not an “average” hobby to take up. So, here are a few tips when someone may come to ask you about starting their jiu-jitsu journey.
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Know That, It Really Cannot Start With Only You
Just like much in life, we cannot make people do anything. And, I have come to find that it is hard to talk to people about jiu-jitsu that have no real interest in jiu-jitsu. The conversation about the sport has to start with them showing a little bit of interest in getting started. Maybe the listen to Joe Rogan, or a Jocko Willink Podcast. Maybe they have a friend or family member that trains. Maybe the really like MMA, and jiu-jitsu is intriguing to them. Take whatever their interest is, and build upon that. “Oh, you liked the JRE Podcast with Kamaru Usman? Well, if you liked that, and are interested in jiu-jitsu, check out his podcast with John Danaher. It has some great conversation and dialogue on jiu-jitsu.” Conversations like this will get their mind working, and hopefully get them to take the correct step to make it to the gym one evening.
It does not help anyone by pestering people to start. In most cases, people already have their mind made up. Sure, we can be a positive voice, but the decision ultimately resides with them. Bugging people about, anything really, can be a hindrance in their decision making process. So, give them the information they ask, where they can find more information, and let them work it out.
Be Real, and Honest During Conversations About Training
Be honest, and truthful with all questions. Can you get hurt doing jiu-jitsu? Yes, you can, it is a combat sport, and accident do happen. But, you could also get hurt in any number or normal life activities during your day. And, at the gym, we all need and care about each other, so no one is there to hurt you. How long will it take to get good? Well, it depends on how much you train...
Also, I have found that sugar-coating things, and not being transparent about jiu-jitsu can lead to false expectations and shattered dreams when reality sets in. You cannot tell a potential practitioner that they will great amazing at this in a year.
Do not lie about anything. Face it, jiu-jitsu is a sport that takes time, effort, and discipline to get good at. It takes a long time. It is a lot of hard work.
Be An Advocate
Jiu-jitsu is great for everyone. Anyone and everyone can find something they like about it. And, as practitioners, it is our responsibility to make sure people understand the whole world of jiu-jitsu. Not just the small windows that are typically portrayed on TV or on the internet. It is not just all armbars and chokes. We all know what we, and other we train with, get and benefit from when we train. But, we need to be sure to inform people of this, and to be completely transparent about what the sport is. It is what the sport needs, and it is our duty.
I hope this helped. I hope that this gave you an idea on how to talk to others about the real ins and outs of the sport. I would love to see everyone in the world come to a class one night. For them to see the real sport, and see how much it can benefit them. We all have our benefits, be sure to share it!
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