Ahhhh, jiu-jitsu! The money, the glory, the … fame? Fans calling out your name as you walk to the mats! Roses floating in the air, the scent permeating the venue! Your gi covered in SPONSOR patches! You travel in style; you travel the world; you’ve conquered the world! Muahahaaaahahaha! SLAP! SMACK! CRACK! Snap out of it. Wake up. It’s me, reality talking! Folks, I’m sorry, that isn’t quite the picture I’m her to paint for you today.
The above scenario caught your attention for a second. I know it did! Who doesn’t want to be rich, famous, and excel at what they love? Well, Jiu jitsu IS for everyone. Jiu jitsu isn’t going to make you rich, not in the “I have this many dollars” in the bank rich anyway. As a student and someone who loves to compete, I often think about the things I didn’t know, and the things I have yet to learn. I’ve spoken to fellow practitioners, male & female, white belts & up, under 20 & over 50; here’s what they had to say about “some things we wish we’d known before starting jui jitsu.” (and not one of them mentions that green paper 😉
- It’s a constant journey of growth! I was really intimidated to give it a try- thinking because it was a “male dominated” sport it must breed egotistical hot heads. I wish I’d known sooner that my concern couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
- Some people stink. If you roll with them their smell will stick to you…. gotta deal with it.
- If you’re injured take care of it. You can take a few days off but it is foolish to keep pushing on injuries. It’s a contact sports and injuries happen.
- Jiu jitsu has brought a lot of balance into my life.
- I wish I knew how addicting it was and how I’d spend my spare time watching YouTube videos to better understand technique.
- I wish I knew about it when I was younger and didn’t start so late.
- I was so uncomfortable at first- in pretty much all ways- with rolling and drilling. I was so afraid to put weight on people and felt awkward being in someone personal space! lol.
- I guess the biggest thing would have been to know that jiu Jitsu is more than just a sport. You either love it or hate it. If you love it, you’ll always love. If you hate it, you can learn to appreciate it.
- I didn’t realize how Jiu Jitsu could be so life changing. It went from a simple commitment of making class 2x a week to changing my diet, incorporating other types of fitness into my regimen, competing, etc.
- Even though we’re competitors, we aren’t enemies and from one woman to another- we need all the support we can get.
- I have furthered passion and have expanded into other martial arts like Judo, Muay Thai and wrestling.
- Bjj is about leverage. Even a very small person can sweep a larger opponent. It’s about leverage and timing not muscles. (in other words, technique, technique, technique!).
- When you’re drilling or in class chill out.
- You don’t have to roll as if it was your last roll ever.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people at the gym.
- You don’t need to roll with everyone. I thought I had to when I started, but you really don’t.
- There are not a lot of women. 85-95 percent of people training in a lot of gyms are men.
- Women and men move differently when rolling. Adjust.
And finally, I found this simple but profound statement to ring true for probably the majority of us:
In the beginning, Jiu Jitsu was a part of my life. Now, it is my life.
From the competitors to the non-competitors, the everyday heavy hitters to the – I-make- it-when-I- can because- these- people -are -my –family, the I- train- to– lose weight to the I- train -to -lose -weight, the I’m bored to I’m addicted… the list goes on and on. Whatever category or non-category of Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner you place yourself in; if you make the effort to adjust your schedule, get a gi, get to your academy, change your mind-set and train, then the above statement resonates within your heart.