This morning, I earned my first stripe!
Not to come across as any kind of authority, I thought I would share the most important insights for me across my first 3 months in BJJ.
- Be humble. In most things (but not all), I don’t have a problem with humility. Certainly not in martial arts, as I’ve experienced the frustrations and successes in martial arts many times in my life. I went into this discipline with the full understanding that I don’t know anything and was glad to! That being said, its still easy to find yourself frustrated with the lack of ability to accomplish anything. But somewhere in those first 3 months I suddenly realized that while I wasn’t ‘winning’ and I don’t have ‘my game’ yet, I was figuring out a way to survive and not panic or spin off in frustration. Be humble. Soak it up.
- Be patient. Again, I started this knowing that this journey will be long. Honestly, I’m hoping I’ll be on this journey for the rest of my life. So, be patient. It will come.
- Training with family is fun. Ground Dwellers is where my daughter Alyx earned her blue belt in BJJ, and then took a few years off. Alyx is attending with me and has been my partner these last 3 months. She’s awesome, simple as that.
- Know your limits. I’m not riddled with injuries and ailments from a lifetime of abuse, but I do have some physical ‘things’ I need to work around and be careful with. I also still put in a lot of weight training and conditioning, which will never change (cause I think that is just as important). Therefore, I chose a 2x/week schedule and with the exception of the occasional misses, thats what I’ve stuck with and my body is tolerating it well. I can see increasing my frequency a little ways down the road, but for now this is good. Listen to your body. Know your limits. Push, but don’t be stupid.
- Have fun. We learned in CrossFit that “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun.” The struggle of hard training is real. Its stress on the body and mind, but the stressful stimulus is what makes your body and mind adapt and improve. Make sure you train at a place, and with people, that are good people to be around and you can have fun with. A little fun and humor making the suffering much more tolerable.