Jiu-jitsu Update: Two Months

| October 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Today marks my two month Jiu-jitsu anniversary. This is not very noteworthy, except that I’ve been encouraging you and the rest of my peers to get some ground training ever since taking my first Shivworks ECQC class in 2015.

As such, I wanted to provide an update and how BJJ is going for a “tools guy.”

Before I started, I consulted some BJJ instructors I trust — who are also firearms instructors or advanced knife- or gunfighting students. They answered my questions about things gun owners should know about starting BJJ training, and I hope you give it a read.

Here are some observations after attending 26, 60-minute classes:

  • Jiu-jitsu is a lot of fun.I’ve already learned to manage my ego thanks to my day job and fight focused training. I don’t get frustrated if I don’t understand something right away, and I don’t get upset if someone “beats” me. This probably helps me have a smile on my face, even when a training partner rolls me over and squeezes all the blood out of my neck.
  • Having context for why I’m in class has helped a lot. When we work on escaping side control, I remember my training partners holding me there during ECQC or Cecil Burch’s Immediate Action Jiu-jitsu, I know what’s coming if I don’t improve my position.
  • Most attendees in class have never had aggressive physical contact with another person. It’s possible that some of the attendees have been the victims of battery or other aggression. One student in particular winces a lot in certain positions from the ground.
  • Sometimes it’s weird for me to practice BJJ with a female partner. Some of the moves are pretty, uh, intimate. Yes, I know it’s not supposed to be that way. Yes, I know it’s my head talking. But depending on your upbringing, you may have to get over some stuff.
  • To paraphrase a quote from Gabe Suarez’s book “The Force on Force Paradigm:” a new student is too ignorant to have an opinion. This doesn’t mean we’re dumb. It means the totality of what we’re doing may not be clear to the novice.The BJJ instructors that replied to my questions encouraged me to just go to class and learn.These two pieces of advice have been very helpful. 

    Sometimes it’s difficult for me to stay quiet when a technique would be less effective if the attacker was armed, or when a technique creates an opportunity for Greco-Roman grappling techniques. This isn’t a fight class, this is a BJJ class.

    I encourage you to acquire a diverse skillset so that you can properly apply what works for you at the appropriate time.

  • Going to class three days a week has rapidly diminished the panic I feel when something happens on the ground. Out of everything I’m learning, this has the greatest value so far. I think one of the reasons people gas so much during ECQC is because it’s new and scary for most of us.
  • Practicing at home with the She-Shepherd has been useful for both of us. Teaching someone else what you’ve learned helps you learn, too. The Gracie Academy has all of their basic lessons online, and we review the techniques on the TV before she chokes me unconscious. 😛

TL; DR — Jiu-jitsu is fun, you should try it, it helps me stay calm when bad stuff happens on the ground, and you get to wear assault pajamas for several hours a week.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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