One of the major misconceptions about training Jiu Jitsu is that you need to be in shape to do it. I can’t stress enough how wrong that is. I mean, I get it; if you’ve ever watched a class, it can be pretty intimidating.
There really isn’t a good way to train to do Jiu Jitsu…. except to train Jiu Jitsu.
Let me take you back to June 3rd, 2012, my very first day at Neutral Ground, and paint you a mental picture. I work in a call center, which results in me sitting in a beige colored cube for 8+ hours a day, surrounded by nothing but fast food and vending machines, and lets just say working out wasn’t in my vocabulary yet. BUT, I was a black belt in couch sitting and channel surfing!
In my channel surfing prime, I found myself being drawn to mma/UFC fights and being fascinated with what was happening when it went to the ground. I wanted to give it a try, but watching these ripped, god-like creatures grappling had me more than a little intimidated that I might not be able to do it. I thought you HAD to be in this shape to be any good at it. I was convinced that eight pack abs were a requirement. (Boy was I wrong!)
So I mustered up all my courage and decided to try it anyway so I walked into Neutral Ground, started watching the class and decide to give it a try. Halfway through the warm-ups, I am breathless, sweaty, and need to sit down and watch the rest of class. THE WARM UPS!
I remember thinking to myself, “Seriously?!?! I can’t even get through the warm ups, how am I supposed to do this class?!” And I remember, feeling completely defeated wondering if I should work on working out before I came back….but I didn’t. I just kept coming back, took breaks when I needed to, and jumped back in.
Fast forward to present day, a year and a half later, I am 30+ lbs lighter, and while I’m still not a ripped, chiseled, statue of health, and I still have yet to find a single ab that I can call my own, I can successfully get through the warm ups, the class, and sometimes even the class after that!
So if you are interested in checking out Jiu Jitsu, but are worried you wont be able to keep up, just come anyway, chances are you wont be able to get through the entire class… and that’s okay, just keep coming, pace yourself, and take breaks when you need to.
You’ll notice that everyone takes breaks when they need it, and there isn’t some drill instructor watching your every move and screaming at you to get back at it. That being said, you will only get out of it what you put into it.
You will need to challenge yourself to see progress, it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to suck sometimes, but you’ll also have an amazing support system to help you along the way. It doesn’t happen overnight, but eventually you’ll be able to do a little bit more each time until you are in the best shape of your life. Ask around, you’ll notice that nearly everyone struggled with the class when they started, even people who were “in shape.” It’s a different kind of workout.
Think about a baby learning to walk, their parents aren’t spotting them while they do their squats and leg presses to prep for that big day when they take their first steps, they climb something to get to a standing position, they fall…. a lot, and get back up… a lot, until eventually they are running around the house destroying everything in their path!