For Real Though. What the Hell Is It?
Look, I can give you the history of this and how far back in history that goes but, really, that ain’t all that interesting and I’d lose you by the end of the next paragraph. So, I’ll tell you something cooler.
I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in mid-2006. Before that? ZERO martial arts experience. The only form of fighting I did was in the What-a-Burger parking lot at 2:00 a.m. on a sloppy, Friday night or outside of a local brew-stop at roughly 1:50 a.m. on that same Friday.
The first class I took was pretty memorable/embarrassing.
The instructor, who is still my friend to this day, handed me a uniform that was 3 sizes too big and said, “Got any questions or are you ready?”
The only question I could think of was, “What the hell am I doing here?” so, instead I told him that I was, IN FACT, ready.
I, IN FACT, was not ready. *insert Kevin Hart’s bit “Noooo…”*
First of all…wtf is happening?!
Alright, the class began with some basic calisthenics and stretching and eventually, we started to learn some techniques of Jiu Jitsu.
I learned a very simple move that involved me tripping my partner to the floor, controlling him by having my knee on his stomach while he is on his back (because I tripped him) and, finishing the sequence with a choke called an “X-Choke”. You can watch that choke below.
After we learned these moves, we moved on to the sparring session of the class. I was instructed to “tap” if something was uncomfortable or I couldn’t breathe.
Wait. WHAT!? WTF is a tap? *Bell rings*
So, the guy I partnered up with, in my most unhumble, 20-year-old, dumbass opinion, was smaller, weaker and waaaay less alpha than I was. I was gonna beat this dork’s ass.
As we began to grabble on our feet, I got ultra-aggressive and tried to bully my partner with my strength. I guess he could read minds and heard me call him a dork in my head cause, damn. I had never felt so helpless, angry and, confused (ALL AT THE SAME TIME) in my young life.
The more aggressive I got, the more he took advantage of it. By all standards in my mind, I should have been able to do what I wanted. I quickly learned what the “tap” was and thought to myself, “This is madness.”
Each time I tapped to a choke or some other submission, we stood back up, slapped five, bumped fists and, started again. I did this for an hour with multiple people and achieving the same results.
The reason I came back? It was the hardest, most interesting thing I had ever done. Also, I was gonna figure out how to beat up that dork that made me feel feelings!
Cool story, bro. So, what is Jiu Jitsu?
The obvious answer and most common is, Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that teaches you how to control and defeat an opponent by taking them apart on the ground or having them take a street nap without having to through a strike and with minimal damage to you.
That’s the answer you get from everyone. Cut. Dry. Logical.
But, that’s whatever.
When I would leave Jiu Jitsu class, I’d feel like a million bucks! I’d drive home hoping that Limewire hadn’t destroyed the computer with a virus-laden porno instead of the Pride Fighting Championship videos you were trying to get.
- I developed relationships with my training partners that are some of the longest and strongest friendships I’ve ever had. I could afford to stop being lonely.
- I started competing. That helped me keep my diet and overall piece-of-shitness in check. Which resulted in a healthier lifestyle.
- HAPPINESS! I was freaking EXCITED to do something other than work, pay taxes and, die.
- I was learning something new for the first time since Algebra 2. This really kept me interested in learning more about BJJ.
- ACCOMPLISHMENT! The individual achievement I felt was unbelievable! Completing a technique that I’d tried time and time again and failed at, it felt like I’d just won the Olympics!
I was almost obsessed. Almost.
That does sound good. But, why would you keep doing something that sounds so difficult?
Well, luckily, I learned from my experiences and have created a beginner’s class at Vagabond BJJ. That way, your experience doesn’t mimic mine. You train with folks your same level first. THEN, move on to more advanced classes.
But, for my brain? Because it’s it IS difficult. It’s like a video game I can’t beat and every time I throw the controller across the room I pick it back up and try again.
The longer I train, the less I throw the controller.
Also, doing hard shit makes you a better person in some ways. It makes you tougher, more versatile, WISER! You know your body and what limits you can push it to AND through!
You’re confident that you could not just get yourself out of a physical confrontation but, also totally avoid that confrontation altogether. Having that confidence is not just transferable to the physical.
It’s transferable THROUGHOUT life. Jiu Jitsu is good for my life. I learned the value of small victories and incremental goals and have applied that across all areas of my life.
So yeah. First of All…What the Hell is Jiu Jitsu?
Jiu Jitsu is life, man.
Sometimes life tries to smother you; choke you out and forget about you. You have to be able to have the presence of mind to be able to take it down and control it until it gives in to you.
GO TRAIN. Change it up and have some fun.
Check these links more opinions on Jiu Jitsu from other personalities.
Navy Seal, Jocko Willink on Self-Defense, Martial Arts, CCW and BJJ
Jiu-Jitsu Perspective from Joe Rogan – MUST WATCH
Russel Brand and his beginner’s experience! WOW!
Click here to hear Russel’s experience as a complete beginner.