Jiu-Jitsu Letter


If you’re looking for reassurance and encouragement before you even get started, you’ll never get started. Against my better judgement, I browse r/bjj from time to time, and there are countless threads with non-starters asking for reassurance before their first class. What to expect? What do I bring? What do I wear? Et cetera. These are all questions the instructor will answer so this “research” is simply procrastination.

Perfectionism is often brought up by people as if it was a good thing. It’s not, actually. It’s an excuse to not do something. If they can’t do it perfect (whatever it may mean to them), they’d rather not do it. So they do nothing. I had a private student that used to train with me twice a month. He’d complain that he didn’t feel it was enough, yet he wasn’t able to make time for more. I reminded him that twice a month isn’t ideal, but it’s more than zero. In a year, it’s 24 hours of training. Most people get zero. I’d bet on him in a fight against a random person (his size or up to 15 pounds heavier) with zero training.

If the art is introduced gently, the student should be excited for his second class. They shouldn’t be expecting themselves to be any good.

And then there are the two stripe whites and blues, who have a little bit of knowledge, but don’t realize how little they know. The intermediates.

More questions. More need for reassurance.

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