Should I Start Training Jiu-Jitsu?
Why should you start training Jiu Jitsu? Should you even start? Do you have to compete? Should you compete?
There can be a lot of questions when you first start considering training Jiu Jitsu. It can be hard to sift through everything and decide what is really right for you. Should you start training? Let’s start here. To answer this question simply… yes, yes you should start training. So many times, people avoid starting to train by saying things like, as soon as I get in better shape, or, I’ll start training as soon as I lose these last 15 pounds. There are so many questions that come up when someone considers starting to train.
Typically, when you look back on these questions, you will realize they were nothing more than excuses that you were using to prevent yourself from training. Here’s the thing, it can be scary to start something new, but the fact of the matter is that it is not going to get less scary over time. In fact, the only way to make it less scary is to take its power away and face the fear by stepping on the mats for the first time.
My guess is the first time you step on the mats you will begin to feel less scared as you start talking to your now teammates and begin to get more comfortable in the environment. I think a lot of times people get it in their head that they are not the “average” Jiu Jitsu person. But is that really the case?
Who is the average Jiu Jitsu practitioner? Is it the shredded 230 pound Greek god looking guy? Are the mats packed with fitness models that look like they belong on the cover of a magazine? Are the mats packed with people that are capable of murdering you with one hand (well, ok they may be, but they are mostly nice people).
Who exactly is the “average person who is training Jiu Jitsu? Chances are, the average person is just like you. The average Jiu Jitsu academy is packed with students from all walks of life. Students who are professionals, students who are also academic students, moms, dads, brothers and sisters.
When we look at who the average person is on the mats, in many cases, it’s us. Sure, every academy has its competitors, but I would say that the vast majority are average people who have other obligations such as a family or demanding career, or maybe both. The average person is on the mats because they are trying to reach a goal, just like you are.
For some that goal may be to lose weight, for others it may be to learn to defend themselves, and still others may step on the mats for that 1 to 2 hours of mental stress relief where they can just be present and not worry about the stress of work or their home life or whatever the case may be. At the end of the day there is no average, we are all the face of Jiu Jitsu. Everyone is coming together to work towards their goals and push their team mates to reach their goals.
Let’s circle back, should you start training Jiu Jitsu? I think the answer is clear. YES. Even if you are not already in perfect physical condition? YES. Get on the mats as soon as possible and start enjoying the benefits of training Jiu Jitsu. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.
As you prepare for your Jiu Jitsu journey it would be helpful to have a few basics to guide you and support you along the way. Here are a few tips from Craig Jones that helped him as a white belt, in Australia where he didn’t have access to high level Jiu Jitsu instruction.
The first tip is to use the resources available to you. Craig mentions finding instruction wherever you can and making the most of it. BJJ Fanatics has a huge library of video instruction for the top instructors in the world for this very reason. Having access to this level of instruction in the comfort of your own home is an incredible benefit that has not always been available.
Next you must truly STUDY the techniques if you want to advance quickly in your Jiu Jitsu training. If you are able to take even just a few minutes each day to study a technique, like really focus and dive in and study it, your game will catapult to the next level in no time. Focusing your attention on one technique at a time, before you know it, you will be a blue belt, or a purple belt, and eventually maybe even brown or black.
Do not take time off. It’s easy to find excuses to skip a class. I don’t feel well, or I have work to catch up on, so on and so forth. Really, what is the damage in missing one or two classes? It can’t hurt that much, right? It’s not missing one class that is an issue, the issue rather is that missing one class makes it easier to miss two which then turns into three which then turns into a statistic adding to the number of people who quit training early in their Jiu Jitsu career.
Over the years Craig has seen many people take substantial time off only to come back and try to “catch up” to the training partners they were used to being on the same level with, only to get hurt from over training, or careless training ultimately leading to more time off and repeating the vicious cycle. Rather than do this, Craig recommends you train as much as you can, but with a focus on consistency, just keep showing up and never stop.
The best way to get better at Jiu Jitsu is to train Jiu Jitsu. Would it make sense for you to miss class to go to Yoga so you can get more flexible for Jiu Jitsu? How about to miss class to go to the gym and bench press so they can get stronger for Jiu Jitsu? The answer is no, absolutely not. Again, the best way to get better at Jiu Jitsu is to do more Jiu Jitsu. Of course it is great to supplement your training, but this should only be on top of training as much as you possibly can. Missing class to supplement your training isn’t helping, it is just simply not the way to get better at Jiu Jitsu.
A great place to start if you are looking to kick your training off right with a video instructional to support the beginning stages of your training would be to check out “How to pass guards quickly and easily using leg attacks” by Craig Jones. This video instructional is sure to help guide you along the path of guard passing which is arguable the single most important skill set to have when you start training Jiu Jitsu. Start here and the sky is the limit. Remember, start today, start now, stop believing the excuses you are telling yourself as to why you can’t start training yet.
How to Pass Guards Quickly and Easily Using Leg Attacks by Craig Jones lets you use your Leg Lock Skills to Pass the Guard! Threaten to break their leg and they’ll let you right by! From their the choice is Yours thanks to everyone’s favorite Aussie Craig Jones!
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