10 Things I Used To Do, That I Don’t Do Now That I Do BJJ
by Tony Peranio
When Brazilian Jiu Jitsu becomes important to you habits that used to “die hard” suddenly fall away quite naturally.
1. Get Drunk
I may still have a drink on occasion but I no longer drink to be drunk, sloppy or stupid. I didn’t drink to get like that before BJJ, but sometimes it would accidentally happen though. Drinking leads to hangovers and hangovers are horrible for your BJJ.
2. Smoke Cigarettes
I wasn’t a big time smoker but I would have a puff here and there. When a teammate smelled it in my gi and called me out I decided I had to quit permanently. Quit smoking and you will be able to roll for an hour effortlessly. Continue smoking and you will feel like you are going to die after 20 minutes of sparring, every time. Now, like all of the other non-smokers in the world I view smokers as dirty, filthy people!!
I used to chase girls around (nothing too extreme but I am Italian). Now instead of flirting, I turn my gaze low, because dating a “BJJ civilian” would mean time and focus away from the mats. That, I cannot have. I’m sure somewhere out there is a lovely lady who is a BJJ enthusiast, physical therapist/chiropractor, chef de cuisine and humanitarian, who enjoys watching someone make memes and craft articles about BJJ all day (when not at BJJ of course). Seriously though, is that too much to ask?
4. Hang Out With Non-BJJ Friends
I really should hang out with them more, but oft times nothing productive ever comes about from it. My phone used to ring (do phones still ring?) and I would get tons of texts. After a few years of Jiu Jitsu my phone suddenly never goes off. However, if you hang out with your BJJ buddies, inevitably you will “spontaneously” bust out your grappling mats (which you have of course) and get to rolling! You can also do this with your regular friends but after a while it gets boring owning them over and over and over again.
5. Workout Just For Looks
I used to go to the gym to lift weights 5 days per week. My primary concern was looks. I’m not gonna lie, health was involved but it was more of a byproduct of working out. After taking up BJJ I began exercising differently, and with purpose. You will often see me rushing women off of the leg abduction machine so I can work my inner thigh muscles, to keep you locked in my guard tighter.
6. Train Striking
Probably like everyone else starting out in BJJ I wanted to “fight UFC bro”. I would be mad as heck (excuse my language) if we didn’t roll at the end of class. “Really? I came all the way to here to jab in a line across the gym and do crunches and then kick a heavy bag?” Then when you sparred kickboxing, people would actually punch you in the face! Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. After I threw on the gi it was nothing but collar chokes from then on out.
7. Feel Defenseless
When you practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you begin sizing up everyone in your immediate vicinity. In your mind you say, “How would I get so-and-so to the ground?” It starts getting a bit excessive when you’re like, “I bet Uncle Steve would go straight down if I double-legged him right now.” This isn’t the best way to think perhaps, but it certainly makes you feel safe. No matter how big or small these other mortals are, you say, “Pft. I would just take this s–t to the ground. Come at me bro.” After you get your blue belt you are like, “I could take out at least three of them.”
8. Eat Fast Food/Junk Food
Mickeydees aw hell naw (how’s that for being colloquial?). Chic-fil-a, no way. Chipotle though, thats okay. I literally just wrote that. I knew I should have been a rapper. Sorry for digressing. But again, when you begin doing BJJ you all-of-the-sudden want to take care of your body, so that you can hurl it into bloody warfare on the mats. Therefore fast food is a no no.
9. Watch TV
Until they come out with a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu channel on FiOS or DirectTV, I’ll be watching YouTube videos about BJJ (okay you got me… I will watch Game of Thrones but that is totally it).
10. Argue With People
When you do BJJ you could have previously been the most hardened individual, but after getting choked out by people half of your size for a long enough period of time, you quickly become “strangely humble” and “particularly friendly”. It’s weird how that works.
I hope you enjoyed the read. How about you? Any life or habit changes since starting out in BJJ?