How To Become Great At Jiu Jitsu and Why It Is Important For Life!

What’s up everyone! I am here to tell you the secret to becoming great at jiu jitsu and why it is important for life. If you clicked on this blog post because of the catchy title and think there is an easy route to becoming great, then I am going to need you to keep reading.

The answer is really simple and is probably going to blow your mind once I tell it to you. I am also going to tell you about the first time I gave jiu jitsu a try and if you’re not new to jiu jitsu then this post is going to sound very familiar to you. Some of you may ask yourselves why is becoming great at jiu jitsu so important? Well let me start by saying jiu jitsu has done a lot for me personally and ultimately it has led me to creating a podcast (Head Kick Radio) and this blog you’re reading right now. Jiu jitsu gives confidence among many other important life benefits. So I bet you really want to know that secret then, huh?

Ok here it is… the secret you have been waiting for and that secret is show up. Really it’s that simple! Just walk through the doors of the gym that catches your attention. The hardest part to learning a martial art or anything at that matter is just walking through those doors for the first time. 

Everyone gets a little intimidated that the people at the gym are going to make fun of them for being a beginner or for not being very good. Well I have news for you! Every person that walks through those doors for the first time is not going to be very good. The first few months and sometimes longer is just about survival and trying to keep your head above water metaphorically speaking. 

I remember the first time as an adult I decided to walk through the doors of 10th Planet Chicago. I was full of anxiety and nerves that could paralyze even the biggest and baddest human on this planet. To beat the nerves and anxiousness I told myself it is not going to get an easier and the longer I stall the harder it will get. I asked a friend if he would go with me to make the experience less terrifying which worked as my friend agreed to join me on this new endeavor. I want to say thank you to that friend who had the courage to go with me because I might not have been brave enough.

Walking into the gym I was nervous as nervous gets. Everyone was sitting there on the mats waiting for class to begin and I couldn’t believe what happened next! Everyone jumped up and walked over to us… I thought “oh no, we’re in trouble” but to my surprise they came up to greet me and my friend, I was shocked! They were the friendliest group of misfits I have ever seen. The owner and head instructor came up to me and I told him I was interested in taking a jiu jitsu class. He looked at me and said jump in class is about to begin. Don’t worry I did sign the waiver.

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Photo Credit: Patrick Benavides

I remember that class pretty distinctively still to this day even though it has only been a few years ago. I learned how to shrimp and the path of the day that included the “Lockdown” which is a 10th Planet staple for those who are familiar with the system. 

The sheer physical challenge that the first class had in store was life changing. It reminded me of wrestling and playing football growing up, which if you ask me is a very important stressor to put your body under. Physical exercise attributes a great deal to mental benefits which is why you see and hear jiu jitsu practitioners “preach the gospel.” This will be a later blog post in the near future so I won’t dig too deep into it right now. 

Naturally I was hooked after that first class and the crazy part is nowhere in that class did I have success. Nope, I looked like an uncoordinated fish out of water. I rolled (jiu jitsu term for sparing) with a couple of higher up belts including the instructor, which they all wrecked my life and put me in positions I didn’t know my body could fold into. They were not mean or overly aggressive with me on my first day, they were just showing me how powerful jiu jitsu is and can be.

After that class I had two choices and everyone after their first class has those same two choices. The first choice is you enjoyed yourself enough that you want to come back again to learn more about those awesome skills you learned or had used on you. The second choice is that it scarred the living daylight out of you and you want no part of that moving forward, so you never return.

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This is what jiu jitsu is all about! Photo Credit Jacob Nuesser

I obviously chose the first or I would not be here writing this blog for you. I was so enthralled by jiu jitsu that it has overtaken a big part of my life. I have gained a ton of confidence in everything it is that I do now and on top of that it helps me keep my body fit. I could keep going on describing the benefits I have received from jiu jitsu such as friends, new perspective on life, etc… but I will save that for another post as well.

To conclude this I just want to say those who are thinking about joining a martial arts gym I just want to say don’t hesitate, just go for it! I promise you that you will learn something. You will learn that you either want to pursue that art or you will learn that you are really not that interested in it. There is no negative with either choice once you give it a try, you always walk away learning something. An old saying goes “you either win, or you learn” and learning a discipline like jiu jitsu teaches you that. So give it a shot and become good at jiu jitsu or whatever it is in life you want to be better at!

Until next time friends enjoy your life and live it to its fullest, cheers!

Steven.

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