I spent the last few years training tons of fighters, but I always knew I was missing something. We’ve had great success preparing fighters to step into the cage, but I needed a greater understanding of combat sports.
About a month ago I started my journey into BJJ. I’m training at Fenix Brazilian jujitsu under Raphael Carneiro.
More about Fenix…
Fenix BJJ is located right on the Lowell/Chelmsford line. The instructors are incredible and everyone I’ve met has been generous and patient with me. My training partners put up with my spazzy white belt tendencies and take the time to help any time I have a question.
I’ve spent hundreds of hours (literally) researching every detail possible about how to train fighters, but I was missing one thing – hands on experience! I honestly already think that my journey in BJJ is going to help me become a far better strength coach.
I’ve been a professional strength coach for about 13 years. I’ve worked with NFL pro bowlers, Olympians, professional soccer players and UFC fighters. I’ve been blessed to be able to work with high level athletes throughout my career, but I needed this experience to become a better coach. This is a HUGE learning experience for me and in order to understand the sport at a greater level, I need to pay my dues and get my ass kicked for awhile.
Hold on one second, I need some more Advil. 🙂
Let’s just say this first month has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tap out in the last month, but let’s just say it’s a lot. At this point, I’m running on 95% strength/conditioning/athleticism and 5% technique. Yup, I suck at BJJ. I feel like a 5-year old just trying to survive.
This video explains it perfectly.
Most times I fair ok for a little bit, but once I am gasping for air, I am a sitting duck. I am so inefficient that I gas out incredibly fast even though most people would say that I’m in good shape. I quickly learned that a BJJ practitioner with good technique has the ability to make even the strongest and most-conditioned white belts look like children. The most important lesson that I’ve learned is that technique is everything in the sport of BJJ.
I’m grateful I started this journey in good shape because if I was incredibly weak and deconditioned I definitely would’ve been much worse off.
This won’t be the only time that I share my thoughts on “BJJ from the inside” with you, but for now I’ll leave you with this…
A few thoughts that may help my fellow BJJ beginners!
1. Learn to conserve your energy and do not use maximum tension.
Trust me on this. Your arms and legs will be on fire before you know it. Try to breathe and relax when you are in a compromised position.
2. If you’re training partner offers to help, take their advice without hesitation.
They’ve been there and they know what you’re feeling. Trust me, help is good.
3. Don’t be afraid to tap early.
There have been several scenarios where I probably could have held on longer, but for what? At this point, I still have years of learning ahead of me and trying be a hard ass is just plain dumb.
4. Respect your training partners.
I always ask if I’m being respectful or if I’ve done anything wrong. Being the overgrown toddler I am, I want to make sure I don’t do anything to potentially injure anyone due to my recklessness.
5. Just show up.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been pretty tough. I’ve been sore as hell and it looks like I’ve fallen down a few flights of stairs, but in order to get better I need to just continue showing up.
This first month has been incredible and I’d really like to sincerely thank each and every one of my training partners. I appreciate your help and generosity and I look forward to hopefully helping you along the way!