Two Years Since Starting Jiu Jitsu

Alright, time to look back a bit. Thanks to everyone that makes my life so rewarding. I hope I can give back even a fraction of that in the coming years.

I started training jiu jitsu (aka BJJ) two years ago, just over a year after starting judo, at the ripe old age of 26.

I actually first encountered BJJ three years ago, by doing a couple of weeks of classes, but thought that it was too expensive, and went instead for judo which was offered free at Drexel University.

Then, at the end of 2009, I decided to compete in a no-gi beginners division at Grapplers Quest. Like the typical “meathead”, I went in knowing basically nothing except a guillotine and a double leg takedown, and with that was able to win all four of my matches. How did I win? I took everyone down and held them there. Every part of my body was exhausted and sore for days. That’s how my journey began.

I would describe my approach to the sport of jiu jitsu as one similar to the way a chess player approaches the game of chess. I don’t look at it as a physical activity at all, but one that is mostly mental, requiring patience, clarity, knowledge, and a fearlessness.

I’ve gone a good way in the positive direction in these two years, both in my jiu jitsu, but also in the way I approach my work, my relationships, and my life in general. I’ve gained a more grounded perspective on all those things. It may sound a little cheesy, but I’ve gained an awareness of my body and my mind. More specifically, I’ve learned a lot about how to live a healthier life and how to face (and overcome) my fears and my ego.

I’ve had to sacrifice my social life for the most part, as well as certain other aspects of my life, to the point where quite often my days are just about work and training. But this makes me happy. I’ve never felt better, healthier, and more complete as a human being.

I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. It has given me the chance to meet some  incredibly tough and genuinely caring people.

By competing as often as my workload allows for, I continue to challenge myself physically and mentally. For those of you that compete, you know how difficult it is to go out there into the pressure, the uncertainty, the overwhelming physical challenge of it all. But it’s precisely what sharpens my mind, reminds me to appreciate every day, every breath, and every person in my fortunate little pursuit of happiness.

0 thoughts on “Two Years Since Starting Jiu Jitsu

  1. YC

    Hi Lex, thanks for posting your experience. I’m a 26yo girl starting in BJJ and Judo. My background is rowing and running half marathon (only for fun, non-competitive) so this is a whole new world to me. I have trained just past one month mark and find that my Jiu-tsu skills are growing fast and well, but Judo is a different story. The main problem is that I am not confident in my break falling. Last night I was paired up with a young guy who just got his orange belt and he put quite a bit of force behind his throw. I was basically a training dummy for him. I got nervous when being thrown and always put my arm on the falling side out for support and almost got injured a few times. Also I hit the back of my head on the ground once and am still worried whether there is a light concussion. I think I will talk to my coaches about it.

    Good to know that you are thriving in both sports!

    Reply
    1. Lex Post author

      Hey, thanks for writing. There’s no way around the tough fact that starting judo at 26 (as you and I have), it’ll be a painful process. You have to relax, attend practice religiously, and to do that you have to take care of your body! Your #1 goal at every training session should be to avoid injury. Warm up well, pick good training partners, and don’t let ego get in the way! That said, sometimes your head will hit the ground hard, like you said. Don’t let yourself complain about it. Be tough, and your body and mind will learn to be tougher and tougher. Good luck, keep me updated.

      Reply

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