BJJ isn’t a bullshitter


BJJ, oh I love how you always find a way to remind me that I still suck. Never letting my head get in front of my ability. One class I feel like I’ve made so much progress and then the next one I feel like it’s my first day again. Back to my white belt infancy where I am clueless and slow.

BJJ, you rascal you. Always finding a way to knock me down a peg or two.

(That’s BJJ poetry right there. It even rhymed.)

I tend to love the things that are hardest for me, the things that challenge me and give me a rough time. I just want to be better and I know that those challenges are where that growth occurs. I may let myself get frustrated but I always look forward to going back and improving on my frustrations.

I really do love that jiu-jitsu keeps you from getting too ahead of yourself.

I was thinking the other day about how easy the previous martial arts I did was.

* Just to clarify, I would tell you what kind of martial arts it was if I knew. I think it was a mix of Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and bullshit. I know the bullshit part is right, I could be wrong on the other two. There was kicking and punching and lots of really stupid, ineffective self defense. And, sometimes nunchuks.


With all that kicking and punching and self defense we always went light contact, little movement, no real life scenarios, no real life speed. You could do it sloppy, you could do it slow, you could do it with zero power, zero effort, and it was always right. Always complimented. Rarely were we corrected or helped with getting the right technique. They had a policy of not correcting for fear of the person getting frustrated and never coming back. Never were we told no, you don’t have the skill down, you can not advance until you are better.

You could fake and half ass your way through it all. You could have the worst kick in the class and still tell yourself you were black belt worthy because no one had ever told you otherwise. Actually it was the opposite. You were constantly told that as long as you come to two classes a week and paid a hefty fee for testing every two months, you were skillful and ready to advance. It’s was more about the dolla’, dolla’ bills yo, than the skills. No situation ever reminded you of your true skill set.

Enter BJJ.

You roll with someone and it’s like everything you try is either a yes or no. It will work or it won’t work.

Me: Oh shit, he’s about to get me in side control. Let’s try putting my hands out to brace and keep him from getting his knees to my hip and neck.

BJJ: NO! Armbar.

Me: How about I reach down and try to remove one of the hooks.

BJJ: NO! Rear naked choke.

Me: What if I put my head down and go this way to escape.

BJJ: NO! Guillotine.

Me: I’m going to try to hip bump sweep a 230 lb. man.

BJJ: NO! Get back down there.

Every situation reminds you of your skill set and where you are at. You can roll with someone and get submissions left and right and feel like you are on top of the world. Then two seconds later you can roll with someone else and can’t even survive for 20 seconds before getting submitted.

BJJ won’t give you false confidence.

BJJ doesn’t bullshit you.

BJJ constantly challenges you.

BJJ has a great way of reminding you that there is always more to learn.

So, last night BJJ told me, “NO!” several times over and all I can do is keep showing up, keep trying, keep working hard, and one day I can turn that, “NO!” into “YES!”

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