Honestly, Ditch The Resolution And Come To Jiu-Jitsu Just Because You’ll Love It

Image Source: Issys Calderon Photography

Being friends with jiu-jitsu people when you don’t train has to be exhausting. Truly, I get it — it’s all we talk about, post about, and selfie about. If you’ve finally given in and are actually thinking about taking your friend or family member up on the offer to check out a trial class as part of your New Year’s resolution, that’s great, but try not to think of it so much as a resolution.

As far as resolutions go, jiu-jitsu covers a lot of bases. It gets you in shape (and keeps you in shape), it broadens your social circle, and it forces you to try something new. The problem, though, is that resolutions rarely stick. And if you think of jiu-jitsu or anything else as a task, you may start to enjoy it about as much as you enjoy cleaning the bathroom.

Instead of making training your resolution, make it a one-off promise to yourself or someone you care about. Show up just once — most academies offer a free trial class for beginners. If you’re intrigued, show up again. You may decide that it’s not your thing, but you may also get sucked into the lifestyle that makes so many of us stick with it for years on end.

None of this means that you can’t set goals within your training, of course. In fact, many common goals that people set as “resolutions” (such as weight loss, healthy eating, and improved fitness) happen on their own as secondary effects of learning BJJ. Just getting your body moving and spending more time with people who live a healthier lifestyle can push you to do the same. And by the time you get to that point, you may find that you’re enjoying your new hobby so much that you’ve barely even noticed all the other positive changes happening in your life.

You may decide that you hate jiu-jitsu, and that’s fine, too. As much as the BJJ community promotes the idea that our beloved sport is “for everyone,” the truth is that some people just aren’t thrilled about the idea of a close-quarters combat sport. If you decide it’s not for you, no pressure — all you did was try something new, and you don’t have to beat yourself up for breaking your resolution so early in the year.

So yes, give jiu-jitsu a try this year. But do it for you. Do it because you owe it to yourself to try a new hobby, because you deserve to make new friendships as an adult, because hey, we’re on this planet for a short amount of time and should have a constant source of happiness and health while we’re here. Stop thinking of it as a resolution, and just show up sometime. Who knows? You may find yourself feeling like a new person this time next year.


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