First months in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

📅 Monday, January 28th 2019

4 minutes read

mat

Religiously

For some time I wanted to try out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Finally I took action and I couldn't have been happier.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or BJJ in short) is a form of grappling with emphasis on ground fighting. Essentially you take your opponent down and work your way to landing a submission.

Ok, let me be clear about it, I know what you are thinking.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ISN'T this

There are many martial arts that aren't legitimately tough. A good rule of the thumb is to think of how well it transitions to the MMA world. Bjj does it well.

Iconic submission by Nate Diaz
Jawdropping flying armbar by Demetrius Johnson

Motivation

After been bored with my usual lifting routing, I decided to do some more functional workout. I could have gone for CrossFit and the likes, but I wanted something way outside my comfort zone. Picking up a martial art seemed like a good idea.

Due to having to wear contact lenses I decided against a sport that includes head strikes (Muay Thai or Kick-boxing). So my options were Judo and pure grappling.

I've already spoiled it, so yes, I went for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

  1. Has Grappling
  2. Has Submissions
  3. Can be also practiced using compression shirt and shorts.

Most commonly people use the kimonos as seen in the first picture called Gi. That being said it feels better wearing usual sportswear. Plus people don't think it's cosplay.

no-gi

During Rodrico Cavaca's seminar. My first leglocks!

Trial period

I visited an Alliance-affiliated club, called Rock Sports lead by David D. Said. I spectated the Friday evening beginner session and I loved it. Saturday morning I rushed to get my gear and be ready for my first class on Monday.

I did a full week of training. Next week I didn't come back.

I was demoralized. I was weight lifting - I was strong yet I was manhandled. No one likes to feel weak.

Couple weeks later I visited Barcelona for my company's annual summit. I went for a walk and noticed a BJJ Gym. It was empty and I eventually left.

Then I started thinking, 'how awesome it would be if I didn't suck, but was competent instead, traveling and competing?'

So I went back and vowed to do at least three months of training, no matter what. Even if I hated it, I still had to complete this cycle of training.

barca

@ Barcelona

First month

At this point, I had no clue what to do. Had limited knowledge and was really hard to apply anything to sparring.I kept finding myself all the time to suboptimal positions, tapping early and tapping often.

At first I was frustrated but eventually, I started to embrace being the punching bag.

So I created a new label in my Google Keep notes, and started documenting the techniques.

alliance

My teacher loves seeing white belts getting cross-collar chocked

chill

Chilling

Second month

My turning point of loving the sport.

Now that it was part of my routine, I started looking forward to the next classes, looking up stuff on the internet and spectating others more closely.

I stopped my usual weightlifting routine and made bjj my priority. The workout felt better, was more challenging and of course tiring.

But most importantly the atmosphere was great.

tear

My first Gi fell apart after some intense sparring. Got a replacement for free.

Third month

At this point, BJJ is my 2 hour of absolute isolation from work and personal life.

Sparring feels so cathartic. At the end of the class, you go you ballistic and try to straight up beat your opponent. The best part of it? - there are no hard feelings.

Such a great way to decompress and start your day!

I'm going to continue going religiously. That's a no brainer. My goal isn't getting the next belt. I can see and feel getting better. I finally land submissions and hold my ground against slightly more experienced opponents. The rest of the course still tie me up.

Love it.

bjj

I'm on the left. Probably at the end of the first month - for sure everything hurts.

takedown

Always a charmer

Some resources for your viewing pleasure

A spinnoff that incorporates palm strikes
Gordon Ryan proves that armbars are #fakescience @15.00
Intro by Rener Gracie
Final match of UFC 1
Thanks for reading!  ❤️
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