March 3

Big Scary CrossFit, Kinda like Big Scary BJJ


I recently started Brazilian Ju Jitsu (BJJ)

I’ve been getting some private lessons from a Brazilian guy called Rodrigo – He’s the same age as me but has been doing it for the last 25 years – He’s super-wise and very patient. He’s gentle too – I know he could snap me without effort but he doesn’t – and I am thankful for that

We get together twice a week to roll about in my garage. He’ll teach me some key positions and moves -> e.g. guards, guard passes and sweeps

I’ve wanted to do it for ages but to me, BJJ is pretty scary – As I’m a complete newbie – I don’t know what they call each of the positions and I definitely don’t know to get into them?!

Last Thursday I went to an actual class – it was a no Gi (and no Rodrigo) lunchtime session – I’m used to training in a Gi (the uniform) but my first BJJ group class was in boardies and a t-shirt

The class started with a basic warm-up and then the head instructor showing two knee bar variations – we partnered up and took turns transitioning from half guard to a knee bar – I had 2 goes and then my buddy had 2 goes – we drilled the movement/s for a solid 20 mins
After drilling, the instructor told everyone to put their mouth guards in because it was time to roll – WTF? 

So the way this works is you go grab another partner and just roll.

Rolling means you get to put everything you just learnt into practice or if you’re a newbie, you become chopped-liver -> where more experienced grapplers practice their moves on you and you get to tap-out a lot

By the end of the session I sweaty and shaking – I’ll tell a soul again that I CrossFit – one guy I rolled with (Assad) joked with me, when I was gasping for air in the middle of our 5 minute round “I thought you did CrossFit bro…” – “yeah, I do…. but burpees don’t fight back mate ;)” 

At the end of our session, it was all handshakes and fist bumps (kinda like a CrossFit class) – I was a drippy, shaky, exhausted mess – it was hard to take off my soaked t-shirt and put on a new one?!

Big Scary CrossFit, Kinda like Big Scary BJJ

One reason I started BJJ was to put myself in the position of a newbie – to start at the very beginning of something that literally takes years to master, commit to the journey and eventually, perhaps become a master

CrossFit like BJJ can take years to master – I’ve been doing CF for over 10 years now, and perhaps in 10 years’ time I’ll be reasonable at BJJ too?

Does CrossFit help me at BJJ – well kinda, I’ve got a decent aerobic and strength base and have OK flexibility – but trying to breathe while someone is lying on top of you, trying to choke you out – well that’s a different animal all together

I think one of the biggest advantages to doing CrossFit other than increasing your physical capacity, is that it’s taught me to be patient and engage in the journey -> e.g. It’s OK to be a beginner

It’s also helped me to get comfortable with discomfort -> the discomfort of being a newbie and not knowing the names of different positions or how to transition into each – and the discomfort of putting up with another guy or gal trying to fold you up into a pretzel

What makes BJJ and CrossFit Doable?

Now if you through CrossFit was pretty intimidating, I’d say that starting BJJ is even scarier – you’re rolling around with big sweaty dudes trying to choke you out – it’s up close and personal and takes a level of vulnerability (to put yourself into that environment)

But here’s the thing: The guys that do BJJ are super friendly and love that you show’d up to give it a go

They, along with the instructors, have once been newbies too, so they understand exactly where you’re at – e.g. “The Very Beginning”

The instructors really care about your progress and will teach you absolutely everything they know – only if you’re prepared to watch, listen and learn – AKA: be teachable

The pitch for CrossFit

  1. We love it, that you’ve plucked up enough courage to give it a go
  2. everyone in the room is excited that you’re here ( “the more, the merrier…” we say) and we want you to learn the craft of CrossFit, while we learn alongside you
  3. The coaches are here to help you and dedicated to your success – We’re here to make you fitter, faster and stronger -> We got you.
  4. Be patient. It’s a journey. Engage in the process and realise that consistency (rocking up on the regular) wins out in the long term.

I know it’s scary to start something new, but if you’re ready to become the fittest you’ve ever been – then we’d love to show you how CrossFit works and why our community is the best bunch of people to do it with 😉


BJJ, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, getting started

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