What to expect in your first year of BJJ.
Your first year of training really is where you learn the most, physically. Most people start off knowing nothing, or maybe whatever they saw on the UFC. So in your first year you go from zero to grappler.
Here are some of the things you should expect.
Soreness. Lots of soreness. This can be the hardest part of training. You will wake up some mornings with pains in places doctors don’t know about, theses are places undiscovered in the human body. Remember though these muscles will be getting stronger, or maybe you’ve just killed them!
Bruising. Lots of bruising. On occasions your legs will look like ripe bananas. You will have huge phantom bruises too, you won’t know about these until someone points them out to you. Maybe the most bruising will happen to your ego.
Frustration. Lots of frustration. The highs and lows of Jiu Jitsu, yes you have a team but unlike football and other team sports your team mates in BJJ are literally trying to break your arms or choke you unconscious. As a beginner this can be very frustrating, but patience young grasshopper, you will get better by getting tapped and learning how not to get tapped. Remember if you’re not tapping you’re not learning. Also try not to get frustrated thinking about the 8 – 15 years it can take to get a black belt again patience young grasshopper .
Misconceptions. Lots of misconceptions. Your family and friends will think you are learning karate or kung fu. Some people will tell you of their 10 year old nephew who is a black belt, he is only doing it a year and trains once a week, you mustn’t be very good! This is a tough one to deal with, most people just give up trying to explain what BJJ is and then walk around feeling like they have their own little secret, but watch out for the ten year old black belts!
Laundry. Lots of F#%g laundry. You will become a black belt in laundry a lot quicker than a black belt in Jiu Jitsu.
That’s mostly negatives you say! Well, bad news first and all that.
Here is a small list of some of the many positives in training BJJ. The benefits really do outweigh the small negatives by a wide margin.
You will become a nicer person. It has been said that Jiu Jitsu is an asshole filter, meaning assholes generally don’t last . “Tough guys” get humbled by skinny Dungeons and Dragons looking kids and timid guys start to build a confidence. You burn an unmeasurable amount of energy grappling, releasing any pent up stresses. Jiu-Jitsu really has changed people.
You will get stronger. The constant rolling will get you grappler strong. This is an unusual type of strong, you won’t get larger muscles like a weight lifter instead your core will become strong, your grips, forearms and neck will all get unusually strong.
Your wife/partner/family will like you more. One of the least talked about positives to Jiu Jitsu is its stress release. When you’re rolling its impossible to think about that exam or deadline or bill that needs to be paid. When someone is trying to choke you and you’re doing everything in your power to stop it or escape you can’t think about anything else. You come home from training calm and happy. We won’t talk about the discussions pertaining to too much training!
You will get in great shape. You will become a healthier person. Because you will be sore after training constantly you’ll start to improve your diet for better recovery. Maybe you start to cross train to get even stronger. One hour of rolling will burn roughly 800 calories.
You get a bunch of close friends/training partners. Those same guys who were trying to break your arms and choke you unconscious earlier will become some of your best friends. You are training together with the common goal of getting better, you will trust each other to not hurt each other by training smart and safe. You trust each other enough that when you tap they will release and vice versa.
You get a hobby (addiction) for the rest of your life. No matter what age you start at you can train well into your old age. There are people in their seventies getting blue and purple belts out there. If you decide to enter the competition scene there are age brackets
and divisions for all ages, you will be matched up with people your age and experience levels.
You can visit anywhere in the world and find someone to train with You might have to hide it from your wife but you will pack training gear no matter where you go. Going to Dubai? Just google “Dubai BJJ” and you will find somewhere to train. Vacations will never be the same, you’ll never have one of those boring middle of the week vacation days again.
Going on a business trip? Pack a gi.
Visiting the in laws? Bring your shorts and rash guard.
Looking for somewhere to train when you travel will become part of your travel plans.
Here are some links to more articles for beginners BJJ