21 November, 2016

My Jiu-jitsu Journey: Month 1

I mentioned in my October recap that one of the more recent developments in my life was that I had embarked on my new journey with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, or BJJ.  If you're unfamiliar with the Martial Arts (I had little idea what BJJ was before I started), you might be wondering what on earth it is.
Jiu Jitsu Houston
BJJ is known as "the gentle art".  There are no punches thrown, no weapons used, and no bitch slaps: it's the art of manipulating your opponent's force against them self.  Before taking my first class, I had only watched YouTube videos and seen others' photos of themselves rolling on the mats.  To put it lightly, I was intimidated.  My first day was October 20.  I've gotten my ass beat more times than I can count between that day and now.  You know, like to the point where you can't breathe but you don't want to cry, so your body just starts making these weird, child-like noises and you just have to learn to control it?  ...Someone can relate.

And that right there is one of the reasons I enrolled in Pablo Silva Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and started my journey.  Why was I intimidated?  I was afraid.  Not only of trying BJJ, but of so many other things in life.  Too often we let fear consume our minds, bodies, and souls, and it can be so inhibiting towards our overall growth.  Starting a new sport is always humbling: You come in as fresh meat, and no matter your age, there will automatically be people who are better than you.  You're forced to put any pride aside and simply focus on learning something new.
benefits of jiu jitsu
As it stands now, my main goal is not to become a Jiujitsu expert.  I am excited to learn how to use my body's strength for something new, develop new skills, and push myself to new limits (after being in a crazy gym funk).  BJJ will get you in amazing shape -- You use every single muscle in your body to support yourself and manipulate your opponent.  I can't explain how much you sweat within a one-hour session...Picture hot yoga, but instead of minimal clothing you're wearing a long-sleeved robe and pants over your clothing.  I'll have to post a post-class picture to show you what I mean.

More importantly, my goals are focused on mental strength.  Being thrown into extremely uncomfortable situations, doubting myself, and being forced to deal with them both on the spot teaches you more than just moves on the mat.  It all carries over into your everyday life, your job, your confidence, and does so much for relieving stress and anxiety.  I am constantly finding myself anxious, dwelling on trivial situations, and unable to let the little things go.
women Jiu Jitsu
Here are a few things I've learned during the first month:

  • Working out in the gym and lifting weights is empowering and cleansing, but it doesn't even begin to show you your body's true strength and potential.
  • Mind over matter is as true as it gets.  When shit gets tough, your mind can either do wonders for you or paralyze you.
  • Sometimes taking a few deep breaths is all you can do, and you'd be surprised at how much calmer your body feels after.
  • Going into a situation full of fear only causes anxiety and worsens your performance.  Go into the same situation fearless and be amazed at how much you learn, even if your performance isn't perfect.
  • It's OK to have no idea what you're doing as long as you continue to remain open-minded and absorb the knowledge being thrown at you.
  • Stop worrying about looking stupid.  Everyone has been in your shoes at some point, and you cannot compare step 1 of your journey to someone else's step 100.
  • Pain is temporary.  Choose your battles and know that our greatest growth often comes from the most uncomfortable situations.
Keep in mind that everything I've taken away from Jiujitsu so far applies to everything in life.  You probably read a few of those bullets and related the back to something, whether it is your family life, your job, your friendships, or a class you're taking.

I'm so excited to continue my journey, share it with you all, and see where it takes both my mind and body.  

Let me know the one thing you've done that was a little uncomfortable.

xx


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