Before I even get into the meat of this article, I need to emphasize that I’m not a morning person. Not in the “first coffee, then conversation” way, but in the “I have cried real tears over having to wake up at 5 a.m.” way. I tell you this because I need you to understand that I’m the last person I’d ever expect to encourage other people to wake up early to do any form of exercise, but here I am, encouraging you to do just that.
The past couple of months have seen me getting up when the sun is just beginning to rise to roll around on the floor and sweat with my teammates. To be clear, I hate it. My partner has had to physically drag me out of bed by my ankles and bribe me with iced coffee to get me out the door. But by the time class is over, I’m happy (yes, happy) that I got through it all.
If you’re an early bird that makes morning BJJ classes your worm, you already know what I’m about to tell you. But if you struggle to see why you should leave your bed a moment earlier than necessary just to get some extra training in, here’s why you should at least give it a try:
1. It gets your blood flowing. Motion is like a zero-caffeine energy boost for the body. Just as it’s easier to stay in bed and fall back asleep when you’ve already been in bed for a few hours, it’s easier to keep moving and stay awake when you’ve forced your body to move and your brain to think. The morning warmup is basically my least favorite part of the day because all I want is to be back in bed, but by the time it’s done, moving around doesn’t seem as impossible as it did when my alarm first went off… and by the time class is finished, I (usually) don’t even want to crawl back in bed anymore.
2. It sets a positive, productive tone for the day. Not getting out of your pajamas until noon often seems like a great idea, but it can also make you feel like a lazy bum. Before you know it, the day has gotten away from you and you go back to bed feeling a little guilty for not having accomplished a whole lot.
Accomplishing a small task, such as making your bed first thing after waking up, can start your day off right. Getting through a whole jiu-jitsu class, though, is a big task. I feel a little bit like a superhero after getting through morning BJJ. After all, if I can do this first thing in the morning, everything else I have on my to-do list — work, cleaning, unwanted social interactions — seems easy by comparison.
3. It knocks your training session out of the way early. Especially if you have a demanding job and a busy family life, making it to training after work can be extremely difficult. It’s easy to come home and collapse on the couch and justify skipping an evening class… or two… or ten. I mean, you’re tired. You’ve already had a long day, and you just don’t have the energy or willpower to dedicate to jiu-jitsu.
Rather than letting the stresses of daily life get in the way of training, morning jiu-jitsu can ensure that you get a training session in before you even clock in for the day. No matter how tired you are at the end of the day, you can rest guilt-free knowing that you already showed up and trained — even if you were half-asleep for most of class.
Not every academy offers early morning classes, but if yours does, try to force yourself to take advantage of them at least once or twice. You might find that you love them as much as you hate them.