It has been exactly a month since I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as a way to counter my fear of being on the ground. I’ve been doing Kungfu for more than 5 years and started doing Krav Maga for a year or so. Each of these things give me something different, and BJJ has so far plays a good role in filling in my lack of knowledge & skill in ground-fighting.
- Kungfu for health benefits and also a hobby. I like the traditional aspect of it, and it is a great way to workout alone (e.g., try swinging a 4-5lb broadsword(dao) for 30 minutes). It also helps improve range of movement with more open forms. Bottom line is, I find it fun.
- Krav Maga for improving self-defense awareness and learning/practice-repeatedly techniques that are straightforward, simple and effective. I love the intensity of Krav, but more importantly, it focuses on several principles that are lacking in some traditional martial arts (e.g., “attack the attack”, “address the immediate danger”, etc.) Technically, Krav was what spurred me towards wanting to learn BJJ. There are some ground-fighting aspects in Krav, but I quickly realize that I felt 10 times less confident with what I’m doing on the ground than anything I do standing up (makes sense, I have been practicing doing things standing up the past 2x years).
- BJJ for dealing with my fear of ever falling into the situations where I might have to fight from the ground (or just try to to get off the ground). Based on the recommendation of the ground instructor at Krav, ground just takes a lot longer because it is not something we usually do (a.k.a., we are not monkeys). Solution? Get ground-centric training. There are several options out there, but BJJ is definitely the popular one after UFC started. Popularity doesn’t automatically equal it is good, but it means there are more options of who you can learn from.
One month is definitely VERY short, but what have I got from a month in BJJ so far?
I am a tiny bit more confident/less-scared when being on the ground. Having someone twice my size mounted on me was definitely a scary feeling at first, but that is the whole point. BJJ allows a safe environment to learn how to deal with this sort of situation effectively.
Effective doesn’t mean easy.
Effective comes from having the right technique AND physical condition, which can both be a result of proper training. A lot of people only think of improving their “strength” when they think of upping their physical fitness, but flexibility is often a very big limiting factor as well. Flexibility has always been my weakness, so now I’ll have to seriously find some program I could follow in order to improve flexibility.
Research starts now, set goals for April!