As a brown belt now, in no particular order, here are ten things I wish I could tell myself before I started BJJ.
- BJJ is addictive!
- Especially when you pick the right academy, you’ll find yourself getting to jiu jitsu 20 minutes early to get dressed (aka social hour in the locker room), then training for 1+ hr, then chasing that with a 30 minute social hour afterward as we decompress.
- You will soon be at the academy 3 or 4 days a week… if not more.
- You WILL make friends that you soon call family.
You’ll be surprised how much of a social sport jiu jitsu is, and how much you like the people in it.
- You WILL do a LOT of laundry.
- Gis are heavy and stinky and MUST be washed after every training session.
- Your house will have gis on drying racks, or the backs of chairs, on a near constant basis.
- You will eventually train 3 + days a week and you will be doing more BJJ laundry than clothes.
- BJJ attire is also addictive.
One gi or nogi outfit is never enough. You will soon be shopping for the newest trend in BJJ fashion and before you know it you will have an entire closet devoted to BJJ gear.
- You WILL be more all-around healthy people.
Whether you eat healthy to start or not, your diet will improve. Don’t think that BJJ athletes don’t like to eat and drink… because we do. But on days you train you don’t want to have 6 tacos for lunch because you will regret it when the 230# guy has knee on belly a few hours later.
- You WILL shower at least twice a day.
Between the laundry and shower, you will be using a lot of water! You will be drenched in not only your sweat, but 10 other teammates at the end of class and will find yourself running to the shower as soon as you get in the door.
- You’ll drink lots of water all day.
- You will find you train better when hydrated.
- You will sweat a lot, so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time.
- You WILL be explaining random bruises to your friends and co-workers
- There will be bruises and possibly and occasional black eye. Especially as a white belt as you don’t know how to control those legs and arms yet, so an occasional foot to eye is not uncommon
- You will go to the beach with bruises up and down your legs…get used to it, but it does get better.
- You WILL wake up sore… every day.
- You will notice you have soreness where you never had before. BJJ uses different muscles than typical exercise does, so.. yeah… that muscle you never knew you had will be killing you in the morning.
- You will also notice that you gain muscle without ever lifting a barbell… get used to the compliments of your buff muscles now as a white belt. Between diet and exercise you will soon be a monster.
- You WILL enjoy the journey.
There will be good days and bad. Early on, more bad then good, but it only gets better – and more fun – as you move forward.