Three Years Into BJJ

Three years.

I haven’t gone anywhere.

I’m still training.

But there’s a weird thing about BJJ that I didn’t experience with things like running and rugby. It’s a very personal experience. Super personal. It becomes more personal the more I do it. And I’m not really comfortable sharing much of it publicly. I’m not even comfortable sharing it with the one or two people who may actually read this. 🙂

I was thinking the other day (while cleaning mats) about some online profiles I see where people list their BJJ rank and are loaded with photos of their training and all things BJJ. I will admit that I do post our team photos on my Strava workouts as I log them. So, ok, I may kind of be one of those guys.

But training BJJ isn’t something I really want to advertise or talk about outside of the gym or with anyone other than training partners. I’m very aware of when and where I wear a t-shirt or anything that has grappling stuff on it. In a weird way I don’t want it to be something that is part of what makes me up, even though it’s something that definitely is a huge part of my life.

I’m not going to lie–a big part of that is that I suck. I don’t know enough about BJJ to know exactly where I land on the spectrum of athletes. But I know enough to know that I’m on low end of that totem pole.

I write lots of notes in my personal journal about BJJ, but there’s not much of it that I think should ever see the light of day. Part of that is because I keep (what used to be) copious notes about my training partners. Not so many notes about them are being kept now, but it’s something I always feel like I should be doing.

But to what end? Well, I’m realizing the purpose of taking notes on these guys isn’t at all about “beating” them. It’s more about learning how to deal with different types of partners and different styles–handling different strengths and taking advantage of different opportunities.

Just last week I had a mental breakthrough about how to deal with a particular type of style that gives me lots of trouble. No need to get into the details here, but my realization was that the amount of pressure I’m able to generate isn’t the key with this type of player. The location and direction of pressure is more important than the amount of pressure, and I’ve been applying all my pressure in the wrong plane.

And wait…that applies to every type of player.


So, yeah, you made it to the end. Or more than likely you didn’t, and that’s how I know that this stuff is just too personal to matter much to anyone else. My journey through this is so unique and personal that other people can only get it on certain levels, even if they train too, because their path is so unique too.

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