As Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grows in popularity it’s becoming more common to see people from all walks of life train in the Gentle Art. Men, Women and children of all ages, shapes and backgrounds are taking up this wonderful martial art, and the reasons why they begin training are as varied as the people who make up our beautiful grappling community. Walking into a gym and putting on a Gi for the first time is an indescribable feeling that often leaves people totally hooked on the art. Frankly, why we start training is a personal decision that really doesn’t matter, the important thing is that we keep at it, but with that said, here are the top ten “tongue-in-cheek” reasons why people start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
1. I Wanna Learn to UFC, Bro –
This person notices they got two buff dudes fighting inside a fenced cage every time they’re at Buffalo Wild Wings watching NASCAR races. When they get tired of watching cars turn left their attention drifts towards MMA and they start to pay attention to the fights instead. They become casual fans of the sport and purchase their first TapOut or Affliction T-shirt and all of a sudden become the fighting equivalent to an armchair Quarterback. They then graduate to buying (or illegally streaming) PPVs and after three or four cards they decide that because they won three fights in middle school, if they learned that weird ground fighting stuff they could probably fight UFC too.
2. Buying My Friends Worked Out For Me In College
For the Frat boy, pledging Lamda Lamda Lamda or whatever combination of Greek Letters their fraternity represents, meant that they became part of a group that accepted them as one of their own. Now out of college this person must find a way to fit in and bond with other males who dress the same as he. Here is where enrolling in a Jiu-Jitsu school comes in handy since paying a monthly fee to train at a BJJ gym works the same as paying monthly frat dues. Signing up for Jiu-Jitsu allows the frat boy to replace his frat brothers with teammates who will not only reinstate his sense of belonging, but also more than likely give him an odd nickname.
3. I Want to Impress Chicks (Guys)
Napoleon Dynamite wasn’t lying when he told Pedro that chicks dig dudes with Computer hacking skill and Nunchuk skills. Sadly, carrying nunchuks around to display your devastating force can fall into a legal grey area, so the best way to avoid this type of trouble is to leave the weapon at home and actually become a nunchuk. What is the fastest way to do this you ask? Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
4. I Wanna get Hitched (Gals)
Beyonce wrote a song about how awesome it is to be a single lady and then went home to Jay-Z and Ivy Blue Carter. Women who are waiting for someone to finally put a ring on it can expedite this process by entering the equivalent to a male meat market – a BJJ Gym. If you’re a single lady with a ring-less finger a Jiu-Jitsu Academy is a great place to find 40 In-Shape and Predominantly Single Men all in One Room.
5. Bully Beatdown
In the U.S. 1 out of three kids are bullied while in school. If you are on the wrong side of this statistic and want to seek revenge for all the noogies, wet willies and wedgies you were forced to endure by your tormentor, learn Jiu-Jitsu and then bend that fool like a pretzel.
6. I Forgot What My Feet Look Like
Obesity is becoming alarmingly more common across the world. Bad eating habits and lack of exercising have led to many a waistline to expand out of control. If your belly has become so predominant that the only way you can see your feet is when you kick those badboys up to watch Oprah and eat twinkies then enrolling in a Jiu-Jitsu Academy is a surefire way to get reacquainted with the shape of your toes.
7. A 140lb Grappler Whooped Me
Receiving a blackbelt in Karate at age three can instill a false sense of security in martial arts practitioners. This false sense of security can lead to some of these ‘strikers’ to carry themselves like strip mall ninjas…until they test their might against a grapplers. Simply put; getting taken down and twerked on by a scrawny looking dweeb that weighs 140lbs soaking wet is a slice of humble pie that will bring them back to reality. If you can’t beat them join them!
8. I’m A Hipster
In the 1980s and 1990s all the cool kids were doing Tae Kwan Do. Nowadays grappling is all the rage so if you want to be en vogue with the in martial art, bring your beard and your man bun to a Jiu-Jitsu school – please leave your skinny jeans at home though.
9. Because Fighting for My Dear Life is the Only Way I’ll Exercise
Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to exercise. Enrolling in a Jiu-Jitsu school might be the answer for those who will only run if they are about to get mugged or arrested, and don’t see the logic in lifting a heavy object up and down repeatedly. It’s easy to cheat yourself by walking the last third of the mile you were supposed to run, and you can lie to yourself by half-assing reps at the gym there is no hiding from a rabid sparring partner who wants to choke the bejeezus out of you. Slackers who try BJJ for the first time quickly find out that Self-preservation is the ultimate motivation to stay in shape for them.
10. Krav Maga is Too Expensive
Who wants to pay $250 bucks to pretend to punch somebody else in the nuts twice a week?! If you are frugal and are looking for a realistic and cost-effective way to learn how to kick butt, spend about half that amount and train twice as much at a BJJ Gym instead.
These reasons while a funny truth help motivate people to take the step to learn the most dominant form of self- defense when the embark on their journey and start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And at the end of the day thats what really matters. Because for all of these personality types and “reasons” when we all step on the mat it is for personal improvement. And all will find it in themselves on the mat if they give it a chance.
Felix Rodriguez is a Houston-based writer, researcher, photographer, and personal friend of Coach Mikal. Felix has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2007. A purple belt under Rilion Gracie, Felix combines his background in History and Psychology with his passion for combat sports in order to provide compelling content for our readers. Follow him on twitter @felix_mma.