The Wrestler's Beginner’s Guide To Starting Jiu-Jitsu
You Have A Great Base...Now Believe In The Technique!
Wrestling is just about the best background you can have when starting jiu-jitsu. You have at least a little knowledge on the ground, you know how to control your own/others body, and you are familiar with this style of physical activity. But, making the transition to jiu-jitsu can be hard. Yes, you may be familiar with the ground, but jiu-jitsu is a whole new world. Here are some things to keep in mind when you make your way to the jiu-jitsu mats.
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Check Your Ego, and Keep an Open Mind
I have seen a lot of wrestlers come and go through my years of jiu-jitsu. Big guys come in, get wrecked by one of the female blue belts, and never come back to class. Their ego gets in the way a lot. They are big, strong wrestlers, and should be able to handle people on the mat, right? We understand that you have spent the time on the mats, and have probably worked really hard to obtain your wrestling skills. But, jiu-jitsu is different. It is a whole new skill set. And it takes time and dedication for anyone to get good at. So, come in with an open mind, be sure to understand that you are a good wrestler, but you have a lot of jiu-jitsu to learn.
You Will Have A Leg Up, But Do Not Rely On That
I have also seen a lot of wrestlers enter the gym, and not learn, or be open to learning jiu-jitsu. They rely on their wrestling skills when rolling and training, and never really develop a jiu-jitsu game. Most seem to be just trying to survive, and using their wrestling skills in an effort to not get tapped. Well, you may get away with this for some time, but it will not help you in the long run. And, it will not help you against higher belts. Wrestling compliments jiu-jitsu very well, and taking the time to learn jiu-jitsu will make you a phenomenal grappler. But, you have to trust in the technique, and keep an open mind.
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A wrestler that comes in and wants to learn jiu-jitsu will do very well, very quickly. There is a much smaller learning curve, and your past experiences only stand to make you better at jiu-jitsu. But, like anything, it needs to be approached in a certain way. You have to be open minded, check your ego, and be willing to learn a new skill. Do not only rely on your wrestling, as it will not get you far on the jiu-jitsu mat.