Motivation for BJJ

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by jmf552, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    I am 69. 35 years ago I was a 3rd Dan in Karate', with experience in Judo and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, but I let myself get out of shape and out of practice. I have a bucket list item to get back into martial arts. I was really attracted to Muay Thai and BJJ, because they are arguably the front runners now. I don't intend to compete, just train and spar. I would like to get back in shape and reclaim some real self defense capability. So I checked out all the gyms in town and found one I really liked. They have strong MT and BJJ programs. I have an unlimited membership that allows me to take both arts. The gym has turned out to be great. The students and instructors are fantastic.

    I tried intro courses in both. Although I came more for BJJ, I found myself much more attracted to MT. I really want to like BJJ and I see the value in it, but it just doesn't get me as excited as MT and motivation is a big factor for me. It is hard to talk to people at the gym, because they are strong BJJ enthusiasts. They LOVE it. I want to love it too, but it just isn't happening. There is also the issue of feeling that the time I give one art detracts from the other.

    I think one problem is that BJJ seems, to a beginner, really complicated. I like things simple. MT has a lot of nuances to learn, but they all make sense to me, they are just refinements of punching and kicking. Rolling in BJJ, I keep trying to figure out what just happened after it happens. Someone at the gym said the other day, "BJJ takes either a lot of flexibility or great technique. Technique is better, but beginners need a lot of flexibility to get to where they can do it with technique." I also worry about injuries. There seem to be a lot more on the BJJ side.

    Any advice on really getting the bug for BJJ? What is your big turn on for it? Or should I just go with what is working and do MT only? I know it is my choice, but I wondered if people here had any thoughts.
    Abella Ava likes this.
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    You should do what you find interesting. If you try to force yourself to do something for which you have little genuine interest, it is likely that it won’t last long and you will eventually drift away and stop doing it. You don’t have to like BJJ, you don’t have to do BJJ. Just because a bunch of other people like it, does not mean you have to.
    axelb, Abella Ava and jmf552 like this.
  3. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Bjj gets good when you first control and submit someone, it feels bad when your the one getting controlled and submitted, this is probably your issue, you already have a larger experience in stand up, and a smaller experience in grappling,
    (Also if your only doing pad work and light sparring it's easier to convince your self your ok at standup then it is in grappling)

    You don't have to do anything, but maybe keep doing a class a week untill you either have that breakthrough, or decide it's definitely not for you.
    axelb and jmf552 like this.
  4. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    A class a week. That is a really good thought. Thanks!
  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    I think it is a good idea to give it a try before you decide how you feel about it, particularly if you believe that it would possibly be good for you, good experience to have. However, I stand by my earlier comments and if you find yourself disinterested and looking for excuses to not attend, then it’s better to spend that time and energy on something else, for which you have passion.

    It is ok to not train BJJ. Seriously, it is. There is a culture that has developed around the notion that everyone needs to have at least some BJJ training, or else you are a deficient martial artist. I don’t buy it and you shouldn’t feel like you must, either. Give it a fair shake, decide how you feel about it, then either continue with it, or don’t. Either way, don’t feel like you need to apologize to anybody or justify your decision.
    aaradia and jmf552 like this.
  6. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    Thanks. I agree about the culture that seems to have a BJJ "mandate." I have given it try. I took a 16 class intro course (nogi) and about 8-10 classes after that. I think that was a fair shake. That trial that leads me to say it doesn't light my fuze. It is interesting, though, in my MT classes, only about half of the students have taken some BJJ, but only a few still do it. The other half haven't tried it at all. Some think they might at some point, still others have no interest. There are a few who go full throttle after both, but not many.
    Flying Crane likes this.
  7. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    While it's certainly true that if you can't grapple at all then you can't really fight, it's also much more important to follow your bliss than it is to get good at fist-fighting.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    um, no, that isn’t true at all.
    I’m not sure I am getting what you are saying here.
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If only there was a way we could test this hypothesis, perhaps by placing 1000s of fighters to fight against each other, in a type of ring or cage.

    Too bad that will never happen, because if it did, everyone would instantly learn from that lesson, especially when it would be so repeatable.

    Let's use an analogy, paper, rock and scissors, now I love playing as rock, rock has won me a lot of matches, but it won't win me all my matches no matter how strongly I identify as a rock fan. In actual fact it doesn't matter because I just love playing the game, and I can train rock all day long, but if I did care about winning, I should at least acknowledge the fact the paper and scissors are valid options, and really if I want to be a rounded game player, it's essential to have a little experience in playing as paper and scissors as well as rock.
    axelb likes this.
  10. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    Well just for the record, I don't plan to do cage matches. I also don't play rock, paper, scissors. Also, just because I have only a few BJJ classes does not mean I can't grapple. BTW, this is a documented fact: 64% more UFC matches ended in (T)KOs than submissions.

    I am first of all concerned with getting in shape. I think either art will do that. I am also concerned with some real self defense capability. The most likely person to kill or seriously injure you on the street is someone who has never trained in any martial art, a street fighter with no conscience. If I get on the ground with someone like that, I don't want to stay there. I do know some striking techniques for getting distance on the ground to break contact and get back to my feet, which is where I want to be.
  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Muay Thai will get you fit and is great for SD, but it does also cover plenty of standing grappling.

    If you do want to make space on the ground to get up, then BJJ and wrestling is what will help.

    There's no reliable striking that will fit that role.

    Training for SD requires you to do striking, standing clinch/grappling and ground work at a bare minimum, (plus weapons and pre and post fight work, and more really)

    I'm guessing you mean there's more TKOs then submissions in the UFC (so not 64% more) which is true, but BJJ isn't just submissions, and having roughly a third (I'm guessing you means 64% TKOs not 64% more TKOs) of finishes by submission fits into my poor analogy. (Takedowns don't make finishes, but they do enable TKOs to occur)

    The best option is always to train what you enjoy, but being good at bjj is also quite enjoyable, it's just hard to get their, and even harder to stay there. It's just as hard to get good at muay Thai, but it's easier to kid yourself that your good, I enjoy pad work and light sparring and clinchwork, but heavy clinchwork with knees or heavy sparring isn't enjoyable to me at all, which is fine but I don't kid myself that I'm great at SD, I know what my strengths are, and I know what my weaknesses are, and that's fine.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  12. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    I respect your answer. A question: You seem to be saying that striking does not work on the ground. It seems to me it is used a lot in UFC and per your posts, it does lead to KOs and TKOs. And I would have to ask why if striking on the ground is ineffective, why does BJJ not allow it? It would seem to me that if it is ineffective, it would not matter. That is not to mention techniques like finger breaks, eye gouges and fish hooks, which are not allowed in BJJ but seem like they would be effective on the street.

    Every art has to make allowances for safety. I get that. And the rules in BJJ seem appropriate for learning. But when I learned Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, that stuff was taught and practiced, just not full contact. But the muscle memory was there. Maybe it is just my gym. They seem to be more sport oriented.
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Anyone engaging in a competition would be wise to train according to the rules of that competition. Have I ever suggested otherwise?

    however, most of life occurs outside of a competition ring, even for those who compete. For the vast vast majority of people, all of life occurs outside of a competition ring. What is standard inside a competition ring has little bearing on the lives of the vast vast majority of people. Living one’s life according to the norms of a competition venue, when one does not engage in that competition, makes little sense.

    have I ever refused to acknowledge that BJJ has value, for those who find it interesting? Of course it does. Those who do not find it interesting (myself, for example) will not train it; it has little value for us. If some Supreme Authority told me that the only martial art that I would ever be allowed to train is BJJ, I would take up marathon running. That is how little interest I have in it.

    But rock-paper-scissors is a game of absolutes. Rock always defeats scissors, scissors always defeats paper, and paper always defeats rock. There are no exceptions and there also no wiggle room in that game.

    Life doesn’t work according to such rules. Martial arts have no such absolutes. Kung-fu does not always defeat karate, karate does not always defeat capoeira, capoeira does not always defeat BJJ. The outcome of such a fight depends heavily on the participants, and the quality of the training each has undergone. You know this.

    My initial comment, to which you replied, was to the other fellow who stated unequivocally that one CANNOT fight if one does not have grappling skills. That is nonsense, and you also know it. Being “well rounded” within your skill set matters in certain competition venues. No argument from me on that point. It is far less important to the daily lives of the vast vast vast majority of us who are simply living our lives. Training in any martial art, assuming the training is high quality, will significantly shift the odds in one’s favor, should one need to defend oneself on the “street” someday.

    nobody MUST train BJJ in order to do that.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Striking can and does work in the ground, but not as a replacement for solid escapes, it's an add on ontop the positional hiarachy, if your bottom mounted, you need to learn bottom mount escapes, it's only when you've got a guard, you can add in upkicks etc.

    Most pseuduo classical jiu-jitsu finishes arnt fight Ender's, fish hooks move peoples heads, they don't make people give up, eye gouges unless done from a superior position won't work, and if you are in that superior postition, there's mostly better options. Same with finger breaks, there not fight Ender's, and all you'll do in enrage someone on the chance that you've maybe damaged their grip.
    axelb likes this.
  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If you want to deal with social violence, then having scalable solutions to body contact is very useful, I would say BJJ isn't optimum for that either, but it's certainly has a lot of what other arts don't have.

    The early MMA events did show that at a low level, people lose fights if they don't have the relevent skills for the positions the fight ends in, if your interest in SD have some ability at each of those ranges is pretty essential.

    Striking, clinchwork/takedowns and ground grappling.

    If you don't, that's cool, (my striking sucks and my takedowns are simplistic at best) but it's important to be realistic about that.
  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Every system has solutions within it. No system is a good match for every person. The best system for a person is the one(s) that keep one’s interest and keep a person training. Whatever system that is.
  17. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I agree the best art is the one that you wish to train in.

    But let's not kid ourselves, not all arts are created equal, and not all schools of said art are created equal.

    Anyway this thread has reminded me of the 90s so much, I'm gonna go watch Friends, eat a viennetta and listen to the first sepulture CD on minidisc!

    Peace out!
    axelb likes this.
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Well-Known Member

    Poor quality training is not difficult to find, regardless of the system. Some people are delusional about their training. That is true.
  19. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    Getting back on track of the original question, I got my answer tonight from the source I probably should have consulted in the first place, the head instructor at my gym, who teaches both BJJ and MT and is very good. He suggested:
    • Learning is interesting with you are learning new things. He said I should take some classes with other instructors at the gym than the one I have been studying under.
    • He encouraged me to get into the gi classes. I had only been doing nogi. He feels that at the beginning level, gi BJJ tends to be more fun.
    • He said I should limit myself to two gi BJJ classes and an open mat session a week, while continuing my MT. I should not overload myself. Also, the open mat sessions can be really good if you approach them right.
    • He said I should only try to retain one thing a week. The classes may have me try many things, which is cool, but to find one thing each week that I feel I can hang on to. Trying to hang on to it all gets frustrating.
    I will do as he suggests.
    axelb and Flying Crane like this.
  20. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I am very lucky to have a good bjj gym near me. Eventually I stopped going because i could not handle the warm ups. They involved a lot of sprint acceleration which I later discovered was aggravating a pre existing injury.

    As an older person what I enjoyed most was the chance to compete hard but with very low impact. The training itself was 80% sparing. After a solid hour and 20 minutes of 'floor squabbling' you know that you have had a serious physical adversarial competition.

    Even if I could not win I would set myself challenges. I will stop this guy from passing my guard for so many seconds . I will work on maintaining or advancing position under pressure. this guys favourite technique is X, i will not let them apply it. etc.
    axelb, Mangosteen and jmf552 like this.

Share This Page