Wassup guys, and welcome to the first in, hopefully, a series of blogs designed to bring you some insight, into the ever expanding multiverse of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. From, I may add, the beginners perspective.
As this is the first edition, I thought, naturally, we should start at the very beginning of the BJJ journey.
Why train BJJ?
Did you notice my careful use of the words “train BJJ” and not “learn BJJ”?
“One does not simply, learn BJJ. For that implies that there is simply a limited catalogue of movements or even a linear path from A to B, from white belt to black belt,that maybe digested and mastered. Ah, if only t’was so.”
- Omo Plato (Ahem!!) Famous mythical Brazilian philosopher, sat in typical thinking mans pose and boss beard (obviously!)
What Mr Plato is trying to say, is that BJJ is a forever evolving martial art. New techniques are being dreamt up on sweaty mats all over the world, every day. There is no end, no finale, or limit to what you can take on board and develop yourself, into your own unique style.
There is however, a set of basic principles and fundamental positions that must first be understood in order for your own BJJ to flourish.
Philosophy aside for a minute, (don't worry there will be plenty more :)
There are so many reasons why you should be interested in starting BJJ, or even want to get your kids started in BJJ. Here are few of the more, obvious reasons :
Physical Fitness - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a physical martial art, there’s no avoiding it. It can be physically demanding and it involves physical contact with another person. If you categorically, DO NOT want ANY physical contact, then BJJ is NOT for you. I hear street dance crews are popular again?
That being said, BJJ can also be very adaptable to all types of body shapes, sizes, length, girth (oh my!) and gender.
The physical training is no doubt, a full body workout. You will sweat, you will stretch and you will burn calories. How much you develop physically, is entirely dependant on one major factor. You.
How much you push yourself, how often you train and how much you look after your body outside the gym, will all have an impact on your overall increase in physical fitness.
Self Defence - BJJ has developed more recently as a combat sport, with time limits, points and weight categories. But the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu are based on self defence, through basic body mechanics and intelligence.
“Jiu Jitsu is a personal efficiency to protect the weaker, which anyone can do. It is the force of leverage against brute force.”
- Grandmaster Helio Gracie
Police officers, security guards, even elite soldiers will all implement elements of BJJ into their training, to help neutralise threats of aggression.
Character Building - As important as any physical skills, a martial art can teach, are the mental skills.
Confidence, in yourself and in your technique to overcome any aggressor of any size and strength through your Jiu Jitsu training.
Respect, for your coach, your training partners and more importantly, yourself, can only encourage respect for everyone.
Mental toughness, the realisation and understanding that your body is not made of glass, it is very durable and that you can push or pull yourself further than you ever though possible.
FUN - If the above hasn't convinced you to cartwheel directly onto your nearest mat, then understand this.
BJJ is fun. It’ s awesome, it really is. Sure, that 16 stone monster, may spend a couple of weeks, maybe months, sat on your chest, causing your lungs to wanna footloose like Kevin Bacon outside of your ribcage. But, when it clicks, you begin to develop, you start to see things, you see pathways, and not only escape routes but multiple junctions in which you, can gain the upper hand, get the submission, bump fists, smile and do it all again.