Ways to Get Your Friends and Family to Try Jiu Jitsu
After you've been training BJJ for even a short time, you can begin to attest to how addicting the martial art can be. You start to find yourself imagining how quickly you could close the distance on coworkers. Or perhaps how can you use the UPS drivers brown collared shirt to set up the perfect bow and arrow choke as retribution for making you wait for that new gi and rash guard combo you purchased weeks ago.
As you drive to family get-togethers, you find yourself trying different types of grips on the steering wheel that mimic the chokes you know and wondering how you're going to react this year when Grandma asks "How karate is going?" Eventually there will come a time when a good friend, peer or family member stands before you as the perfect candidate to try their first BJJ class. How will you react when that special day arrives?
Let's look at a few ways to help encourage them to visit your academy without arm dragging them. By encouraging people close to you to try BJJ, you will help spread the art, support your academy and give you someone to talk to about your recently discovered obsession.
Be the advertisement
Actions truly do speak louder than words. Hopefully the person you are looking to inspire to try their first class is around you enough (or even if they're not), your newfound obsession and the benefits to your health and well-being will be noticeable and will spark their interest. Whether or not, as jiu jitsu practitioners we become some people's first impression of the martial art. This is a great responsibility and something to think about when you interact with people.
Sadly, popular as BJJ and even mixed martial arts has gotten, people still believe some of the old myths about the sports. The uninformed might see any type of martial art as violent and something that they want no part of. Though there is certainly a level of violence running through the core of any martial art (which were originally designed for fighting, for defense and protection), the average student can train their entire lives and never find themselves in any type of altercation that would remotely look like a fight.
The confidence you will develop, along with the health and well-being benefits that will manifest for you as you train and adopt the jiu jitsu lifestyle aspects of more activity, healthier/cleaner eating, and the community of people you become friends with will be contagious to others and they will be unable to ignore the benefits and most likely, will be coming to you to ask you what you are doing in your life that is making you so happy, content, or physically fit.
Share the love
Social media is a great way to spread the awareness of BJJ's positive impact on your life to all of your friends, both real and virtual. Sharing photos from class on Instagram and Facebook or whatever your preferred social media platform can do a great deal to get the word out. Even sharing goofy BJJ memes can go a long way to get people interested and asking you questions that can lead to conversations about BJJ and eventually those folks actually trying a class and possibly falling in love with the art.
As the resident meme maker for BJJ Fanatics, one of my favorite stories was of having a friend that I hadn't seen for nearly 20 years, reach out to me via Facebook and tell me that he appreciated all of my jiu jitsu memes and that they eventually got him and his entire family to join their local BJJ academy. They are all progressing extremely well and are becoming avid competitors. All because of a group of BJJ memes, there is an entire family who has become obsessed with the martial art and could spend the rest of their lives training. Don't underestimate the power of a social media post.
Check in at your local academy on Facebook when you train. Whether they think they are paying attention or not, the simple check in can call attention to the fact that you're training, working to better yourself, and that will help get them thinking that if you can do, they can do it too. Checking in is also a great way to track your own classes and be able to look back and see how many classes you've attended.
First one's free, tell your friends
Once you've got your friend or family member asking questions about BJJ, you've almost got them. Remember, you're not trying to sell someone a used car or foist something negative onto their lives. You are trying to open their eyes to all of the benefits that you've begun to see and will continue to see as you progress.
Work with your instructor, coaches, and academy to set up an introductory class for them. Perhaps they can simply attend a class to get a feel for what it's like. The majority of schools will be welcoming and friendly with the new person attending their first class, but the best ones will spend the time to help customize and acclimate them to the experience.
At our academy, an instructor or Coach will work specifically with the new student or students on some key warm up techniques to give them something to work on, but not to overwhelm. In addition, when it comes time to work techniques, it's important to partner with your friend or family member to keep them within their comfort zone and let them slowly acclimatize themselves to the new experience.
The old saying that you only get one try to make a first impression is true. It's important that we start everyone off with a positive experience, to give them just a tiny taste of what BJJ can do for their lives.
By being the best representative of your academy, your affiliation and the martial art that you can, you will achieve nearly all of the heavy work of getting those friends and family members to try a class. By sharing your experiences for the world to see on the various social media channels available to people today, you will get the message out there and be advertising without really realizing that you're advertising. People notice. That's what social media is. And lastly, by working with your team to create an inviting and welcoming environment for someone to step onto those mats for the first time is a skill reserved by only the best academies. Who knows, once you've given them a great experience, who knows who they'll be bringing to the academy next?
Now that you have a few ways to get the word out about jiu jitsu to friends and family, you can now share with them your copy of Luis Heredia's 4 Volume "Pure Jiu Jitsu" instructional and benefit from the decades of BJJ knowledge contained within. You can get it here from BJJ Fanatics!