Why I Started Training Jiu-Jitsu & How That Has Changed
I started training BJJ 2 and a half years ago. My reasons behind training have since changed and evolved as my knowledge and maturity in the art has increased. I began training Jiu-Jitsu because I was interested in Mixed Martial Arts and I had aspirations to compete in the sport. So my cousin and I looked around and found a friend of ours who had a No-Gi submission grappling class every Thursday in his garage. I would rather not give out his name so I will just call this instructor, Tom. Tom had trained Jiu-Jitsu whilst he attended college in Auburn, AL. He was never officially belted but has been around the sport for around 15 years; he knows the basics and had the capacity to teach beginners. Tom was a good man and didn’t even charge for the classes. He taught me my first Americana, and how to escape mount. However, I could only train with Tom for so long before my growth would cease. So after a year of training with Tom it was time for me to search for a new school to train at. After researching schools in the area I found Joshua Cheek, and the I’mmortal Jiu-Jitsu family.
My coach, Cheek, is a purple belt under Jason Keaton a 2nd degree black belt out of Columbus, GA. Cheek has helped me understand myself and transform my stiff uncoordinated movement to a smoother slightly less sloppy version of that. I am nowhere near great but the progress I have seen from myself, both on and off the mats, is something that I am incredibly proud of. I still have a lot to learn though. Not only has Cheek given me a more structured curriculum but also he has given me a deeper understanding of Jiu-Jitsu and a new perspective on training.
I have still not given up my dream of competing in Mixed Martial Arts, but it is not my sole reason for training BJJ now. I am focusing more on my Jiu-Jitsu because I have fallen in love with it. I plan on becoming a BJJ black belt, and no matter how long it takes I have set my sights on improving my understanding of this wonderful art. My intentions went from using Jiu-Jitsu as a tool to accomplish my dream of competing in MMA to me using myself as a tool to become an even greater martial artist.
My point for writing this article is to show newer students of Jiu-Jitsu how your goals might evolve as you mature in your BJJ journey. There is a chance that your goals will never change, and that is not a bad thing at all. It is also not a bad thing if your goals change. It is completely natural and healthy for you to do so. Think about it. When you were a child you most likely had aspirations to be an astronaut or a princess, but later on in life your goals changed. Jiu-Jitsu is the same way, you may start Jiu-Jitsu with the goal of becoming the world’s greatest fighter, or you could have started just with the goal of reaching your blue belt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either of these goals, they are both admirable and I encourage you to reach them. No matter what your goals are, now or in the future never forget to train and train respectfully; and always allow the reasons why you train to change, and be not discouraged. Oss…
This article was written for WBBJJ.com by Cason Roberson.