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
- We love it, that you’ve plucked up enough courage to give it a go
- 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
- 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.
- 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 😉