What will training BJJ for six months do for you? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a skill that takes some time to get a handle on. The first six months are the toughest phase, but also the most rewarding if you make it. To clarify, we are talking about six months of consistent training 2-3 times per week. This is a quick look at what will change for you.
- You will learn how to face your anxiety. Most of us were nervous about beginning to train. Everyone knows more, and we have no idea how friendly the room is. After a while, you will understand that we are all invested in your progress. If our training partners suck, we won’t be any good ourselves. This is true regardless of our individual goals. That isn’t to say that you won’t come up with more internal reasons to avoid training. You will simply get better at facing your excuses one at a time instead of accepting your excuses and going the easy way.
2. You will meet a diverse group of people. There is no one type of person who trains. Most gyms have a good mix of ages and backgrounds. Working productively with people who you would otherwise never meet is good for the world. You will discover that different people have different games, and there’s a lot to learn from each other in Bjj. Everyone is very proud of what they know, and will usually share their outlook freely.
3. You will gain confidence approaching a large project. When you train consistently (2-3 classes a week minimum) for six months, you will be better than when you started. It takes years to progress to the blue belt, but you will have made some progress that you can be proud of. This offers a template for how to learn and improve in many complex skills outside Bjj as well. I like to look at ten years ten thousand hours as a baseline for estimating mastery. There is a lot more to it, but time in is a good place to begin. That would make about 20 hours in a week if you were in a hurry. Three classes per week puts you at 6, which is a reasonable pace for most people. Either way, six months is a measurable chunk to show yourself what progress feels like.
4. Your body will make adjustments. If you’re out of shape, always do what you can. After six months, you should be able to get through the warmups easily. If you make reasonable demands of your body, it will respond. You want to be able to shrimp, stand, and do other basic movements with minimal effort. This takes time for some people, but six months is enough time to be fairly comfortable. If you’re in shape, there is a different type of learning curve.Your first few weeks will probably bring soreness from using muscles in a different way. Keep drinking lots of water, and pay attention to the details of the movements. There are usually efficient ways to move that require less effort than we begin with. Pay attention to how you’re breathing!
5. You will know exactly what you can and cannot do. People tend to do a lot of “sizing each other up” when they don’t train. Only after a significant amount of trial and error will you have any idea what you’re talking about. Size is an important consideration, but is not as important as skill. You cannot estimate the way that someone moves or the depth of what they know until you’ve been training for several years and actually get a hold of them. Discarding “sizing people up” as a part of social introductions tends to make aggressive people more polite. It also offers confidence to the timid. Consistent training offers a balance that is hard to duplicate any other way.
6. You will have experienced a new look at discipline as an adult. In order to train for this amount of time you will have to go when you don’t feel like going. You will also have to make adjustments to your schedule. Most people reconsider aspects of their diet; when they eat, how they eat, what they eat. Many people drink significantly less alcohol. Water intake will prove more important. Some people quit smoking or other drugs. At the very least, you will get a guaranteed two hours away from your phone. We do have people who need their phone at the edge of the mat, but most people absolutely do not. These are all naturally occurring positive changes that you alone choose to make.