A White Belt’s First Day

4 min read
The day you have no idea what you’re doing, get smashed, and yet you are hooked

A White Belt’s First Day

The day you have no idea what you’re doing, get smashed, and yet you are hooked

Alberta, CAN

Welcome to your first day of Jiu-Jitsu! You may be a little nervous… or a lot nervous. Maybe you’re anxious, uncomfortable, and awkward too. Don’t worry, these are normal feelings to have. Jiu-Jitsu is a very intimidating sport from the sidelines. On the other hand, maybe you’re excited and can’t wait to step on the mats. No matter what you’re feeling, your expectations for the class should be relatively low.

Confused? I bet you thought I’d be boasting about all of the super cool new moves you’d learn, how you’d meet tons of new people and how everything would be all sunshine and rainbows. Well, sorry. You’re wrong. The truth is jiu-jitsu is hard, and it’s not for those who are of weak character. I’m almost 100% sure that you’ll feel awkward being so close to people, feel lost during drilling, and even more lost during rolling. Odds are, you won’t even remember any of the techniques you learned. Have I sold you on the sport yet?

Did you notice that I mentioned you wouldn’t meet any new people? Well, that’s because I didn’t. You will be greeted by and introduced to many people from all walks of life. This is one of the best things about the sport. Anybody can do it… lawyers, doctors, first responders, grocery clerks, etc. It’s incredible how one sport can bring such different people together, and you won’t truly understand what I’m saying until you step onto those mats. The other thing about meeting all of these people is that they’re all going to be willing to help you out on your journey. Especially on your first day, so don’t worry if you feel as though you’re messing things up or slowing people down. We’ve all been in your shoes, so we get it. Still not convinced? What if I told you that you can’t mess anything up? One of the reasons why Jiu-Jitsu has so many different types of people of all shapes and sizes is that you can change and adjust techniques to suit you and your body better based on your build and flexibility. Technically, nothing you do will be wrong. It just won’t be the best it can be….yet.

The sport will teach patience, remaining calm under pressure, and greatly enhance your problem-solving skills, but only if you keep showing up and putting your time in. Don’t let being uncomfortable or frustrated hold you back from the mats. It’s going to take time to find your game and get better. Let the process work the way it’s supposed to. You’ll be addicted before you know it. 

Once you find yourself more comfortable and confident, you’ll find yourself trying new moves that don’t necessarily make sense. You’re just trying them because it’s fun, and you think there’s a chance they might work. You’re going to start submitting people you never could’ve imagined catching up to, but you’re also going to end up getting caught more too because of the new techniques you’re trying, but now, it will be more fun. One of the most important things to remember is to never compare yourself to other people. Everyone is there for different reasons, and everyone learns at a different pace. Do the sport because you love it, and to keep a healthy body and mind. Be patient with yourself, and never stop putting time on the mats. 

I promise you won’t regret a thing.

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