‘Do I Have To Get In Shape Before I Start BJJ?’ Professor Nick Albin Answers

Recently, second-degree BJJ black belt Nick “Chewy” Albin of Chewjitsu got a letter from a person who wanted to start jiu-jitsu. However, because this person did not want to be “the white belt who gasses out” during class, he asked Professor Albin if it would be better to hold off jiu-jitsu until he got in better shape.

As can be expected, Albin’s answer is “no.”

Professor Albin gave three reasons for his answer.

First, you cannot get in the shape you need for BJJ unless you actually do BJJ.

Second, a lot of people get into jiu-jitsu so they can get into shape, not vice versa. It makes absolutely no sense to get in shape to get in shape.

Finally, it doesn’t matter if you’re the white belt who gasses out. Almost all first-time jiu-jitsu practitioners run out of breath during their first roll. Most advanced practitioners, remembering their first day in class, are not going to judge these new white belts for their “poor” performance either.

So, whether you’re in shape or out of shape, Nick “Chewy” Albin thinks the best thing to do is try jiu-jitsu. There is no point in holding it off.


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