Jiu Jitsu and all its suckage

It’s been an age since I’ve written about jiu jitsu. Could be because attending class has been a bit hit or miss the last few months. Anyway, yesterday I had the hardest time finishing a roll because some dude’s feet smelled so bad. And I mean bad. So bad, like, the smell was on the mat and on my gi. It just stuck to everything.

Disgusting right?

Well, they really don’t tell you about what you’ll go through when you first join jiu jitsu. You just sort of learn as you go, and if it doesn’t scare you off, then you stick around and just deal with the suck.

And there’s a lot of suck.

I’ve had sweat drip in my eye and my mouth. I’ve finished rolling and was drenched with other people’s sweat all over my gi.

I’ve smelled so rank that I couldn’t wait to get home to wash, and literally splashed water over my upper body, shirt and all, to try to wash the smell off.

These are the things you go through when you’re in jiu jitsu.

These are the things I tell my friends who aren’t in jiu jitsu. Who are grossed out, and suggest I try something else for exercise. Because why? Why would anyone put themselves through it? To be all up in another person’s sweaty, smelly space?

Of course, they don’t understand–even though there are times when it sucks, the reward is worth it.

When you finally nail that arm bar you’d been wrestling so hard to get. Or pulling off the kimura, omaplata, or triangle. Or hell, just surviving seven minutes without getting choked out is an accomplishment in and of itself.

So, no. I won’t quit jiu jitsu and join taekwondo.

I’m good just where I’m at.

Jiu Jitsu and all its things…

So like most people that are of a “certain age” I decided I needed some type of exercise in my life, but I didn’t want to deal with the monotony of the gym. I wanted something else, something that was more of a challenge. And that’s when I came across a gym that focused on Mixed Martial Arts. I gave them a call and decided to give Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a try.

Changed my life.

How? Well, I’m a tiny person. Like real tiny. And maybe because of my small stature, I sort of shied away from full contact sports. But this! Jiu jitsu, was all up in my face. It took a little bit of an adjustment, having people sweat all over me. And I’m not going to lie, there were times when I got other people’s sweat in my eye and mouth. Thoroughly disgusting. But in the end, it was an experience. A growing experience that helped me learn what its like to be in bad positions, and how to get out of them. And between all the arm bars, triangles, and Americanas I learned I wasn’t as frail as I thought.

The second thing I learned in this sport, was that as crazy as it seems to those looking in, it is not as dangerous as one might think. Oh yes, there is a chance you’ll get hurt, but it’s the same as any other sport, maybe even less. Because when you’re training jiu jitsu, you’re training with a partner, and no one–no one–wants to hurt their training partner. So while rolling (training), you match intensity with your partner, and there’s hardly anyone that trains more than 85%. The only time one goes the full 100% is while competing. So what I learned, is there is a respect between teammates and an awareness and desire for their well being.

The last thing I learned about jiu jitsu is: It’s just fun. There’s nothing like it. Training–wrestling with a partner, trying to get out of certain positions, or trying for a submission. Failing, and getting submitted yourself, just to dust yourself off, and roll again. Then, finally, submitting someone for the first time. It’s awesome. It’s fun. It’s jiu jitsu, and really, there’s nothing like it.