Your First 6 Months In Jiu-Jitsu
Congratulations you’ve done it! You’ve decided to learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). That is an excellent choice but it is only the beginning of the beginning. Now you must lay your feet upon the path and walk it. The rewards are great but the journey is difficult. To prepare students for the inevitable frustration and discouragement, I always mention to them that the first six months are the hardest. Once they make it through those initial months the training becomes easier. Here are three tips to help you along the way:
Tip #1: Set a goal
One reason some students quit before the six-month mark is the lack of a clearly defined goal. There will be difficult times in the initial months. There will be frustration. This is precisely why students need a goal. Whatever it may be. Whether it’s to become proficient in a particular guard or just feel confident in basic grappling skills. When we remember why we start, we develop the will to show up for one more day.
Tip #2: Be consistent
If a practitioner wants to get the most from the first six months, they must train consistently. There is no other way. A minimum of three days a week is a good pace. Anything less, is too much time between sessions. It will be difficult to develop the skills necessary to notice significant progress. Commit to three days a week and watch your jiu-jitsu improve by leaps and bounds.
Tip #3: Trust the process
At the start of a student’s journey almost every teammate will have more experience. Some training partners will even be brown and black belts. Eventually everybody will roll (spar) with everyone else. As a beginner, rolls may feel like a step into a pool of quicksand. Every move seems to lead into a worse position. Novices may feel like it’s useless to keep coming back for another class. Remember to trust the process. Remember not to compare yourself to others who have more experience. Always remember that every training session, every class is a learning experience.
Jiu-Jitsu is a great martial art that yields rich rewards if you put in the time, effort, and energy. Although everyone’s experience is different the benefits you can expect are improved physical fitness, new friends, self-defense skills, stress relief, and overall improved wellbeing. If you set a goal, train consistently, and trust the process you will set the foundation for a long and prosperous journey in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
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