Why Should I Go to BJJ Class Today

Table of Contents

BJJ is an awesome martial art but it can be challenging at times with many people rather staying home and watching UFC youtube videos over actual training as it simply is much easier.

Everyone has lazy days and there are days you simply cannot make class but the issue with not going to jiu-jitsu class is the more classes you miss, the easier it is to quit. Daily excuses start to happen more frequently and sooner or later weeks pass and then years and next thing you know, you are sitting on the couch years later seeing your classmate get his blackbelt saying to yourself – “I wish I hadn’t quit BJJ ”.

Gracie Barra BJJ Class
Gracie Barra BJJ Class

Common Reasons People Stop Going to BJJ Class

One of the most common reasons people stop going to BJJ is the fact that they have not accepted the fact they will lose when rolling with classmates. It is the ego that stops progress and has stopped many really talented individuals from progressing in BJJ.

It can be seen time and time again where a muscle bound crossfit athlete type comes to BJJ academy, starts rolling and destroys most students but then meets a solid blue or purple belt who uses technique to subdue them with that person never showing up at the academy again.

The trick to learning to roll is to accept the fact that everybody taps, everyone at some point has been dominated by higher belts. Once you realize this, you can find solutions to the positions you are finding yourself having trouble in. This is the true way to get better at BJJ

Gary Tonon’s Training Mindset

Gary Tonon, a truly world class BJJ athlete and one of Grapplezilla’s favorite grapplers is known to tap to his training partner many times every class, the reason being he puts himself ins really bad positions over and over again until the bad positions become strong positions for him as he has optimized how he deals with them. Gary is known to be extremely hard to hold a position and to get a submission on and the reason is simple, it’s because he left his ego at the door and is not to win but to learn!

In the academy it is about learning (even through tapping during rolls, yes) and not winning as through this mentality you focus on technique and bettering your Jiu-jitsu and not just your competitive spirit. Don’t be afraid to try techniques, you may fail one and even a thousand times but eventually with optimization, you’ll nail that technique and become a better jiujiteiro.

The Mental Pressure of BJJ Competitions

Another common reason that people quit BJJ is competing under the wrong mindset, especially as a lower tiered belt. BJJ competitions are a great way to improve, they can be fun and full of challenging competitors. It is not uncommon to see an academy star not able to perform well in competition as competition is much more mental than dominating your teammates at the academy. 

This pressure can destroy an individual, especially when the competitor has huge expectations. The key to mental success in competition is to have 1 expectation, that is to give your best effort, what will come will come and if you win that is awesome but if you lose then take it as a great lesson and learn from it. 

Training at The Wrong BJJ Academy

BJJ has a family feeling as practitioners truly suffer and grow together through hard practices but sometimes the energy, tempo and vibe of the school and instructor is not what a person needs to grow and succeed. Add the pressure of being on “The Team” and a person will feel a zero tolerance for switching schools. This has especially been seen in BJJ where the term “creonte” (traitor) has been accepted.

Although there should be some loyalty between instructor and student as there needs to be trust between them, the reality is that the student is the customer and not the instructor. 

Sometimes a student needs a more sport BJJ orientated academy, sometimes they need a more self defense orientated academy, sometimes they need an academy that is more slow paced (generally for 40+ year olds). 

The interesting thing is generally a person does not know what they need when they start BJJ as they are a white belt and it is only until they are months in that they may realize…this academy and instructor is not what they were looking for, so it truly is unfair when a BJJ academy treats those who leave as traitors – or perhaps it is a very good business strategy to keep people as students out of fear.

Choose the academy that best suits you, life is too short to not do what you want, it is your BJJ journey so take charge of it and train where you feel you will excel.

Dealing with BJJ Bullies

Some schools have a very aggressive mat culture and sadly this can cause many new students to leave BJJ altogether. It is a very bad representation of BJJ and although it exists, you must understand that because you may have been bullied at BJJ class does not mean that you should not practice BJJ, just find another school with a positive mat culture instead of quitting altogether.

The ironic thing is that the academies that entertain mat bullies generally cannot explain why they have so few students compared to successful schools all while standing proud of the fact their mats are the toughest to train on.

Should you find yourself bullied, first talk to your instructor and should they not take any action, just switch schools as if there is a bully there or a culture of bullying, you need to realize it is not the bully at fault but the instructor allowing such behaviour and if they are allowing this behaviour it is a sign that the school is not a good one to learn at.

Reasons to Get to BJJ Class Today

In the immortal words of the great UFC referee – Big John Mccarthy…..HERE…WE….GO!!!!! 

You should go because no matter how hard the class is, no matter how much you sweat, no matter how many times you get thrown and no matter how many times you get tapped, you will be better at the end of the class than you were at the beginning. 

BJJ is truly a game of inches and not miles and it takes time to get proper BJJ skills but this can only happen if you go to class, you may not feel like you are progressing but you are, you are getting better in many ways you cannot see, perhaps it is with slightly better grips, better shrimping, better scrambling out of a bad position, better at preventing that guard break for an extra 5 seconds and even being better at emotionally dealing with pressure.

Renzo Gracie said that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a story of the hammer and the nail, every person starts as a nail, getting hammering day in and out over and over but one day that person wakes up and is the hammer and they are the ones hammering the nail in.

Saulo Ribeiro once said that “Iron must go through fire to become steel” and this is part of the journey of BJJ, you will have hard times, challenging times but you are always growing, learning and one day you will see you are very formidable at the soft art of BJJ.

In Conclusion

The hardest part of going to BJJ is getting to the academy, once they just put your uniform on and have fun! There is a saying that tomorrow never happens, so stop saying “I’ll go tomorrow” and go in today as today is something we can control NOW. Get your gi ready, get to the academy and know that going today is only going to make you a better person!


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