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In 14 years of BJJ I've heard my fair share of excuses from friends, families and every day people who's life's have crossed with mine to avoid starting, continuing or getting back into Jiu Jitsu. In fact I recall over the last 14 plus years making up excuses myself to put off going to training. In general I believe an excuse is simply a form of avoidance that can somewhat make a person feel falsely satisfied with why they won't do something and in this case it's BJJ.

Strike Jiu Jitsu Open mat

Most martial artist will be able to relate with times they have made or contemplated making excuses to prevent training or have a break however it's being able to look past the excuse and move forward that will help you become the martial artist that you have become or want to become today.

I'm going to look over the 3 most common excuses I hear on a nearly weekly basis as to why people won't start BJJ and unravel them and explain why these excuses 99% of the time won't stand with me.

1. I'm not fit enough, I need to get fitter before I start training, I want to lose some weight before I start.

I think this excuse is so common that even the person saying it knows it's a terrible excuse. It's almost equivalent to saying "I don't want to start dieting until I lose 5kg", Sounds silly doesn't it. How do people get fit?, in my mind it's through physical exercise. All you need to do is google BJJ weight loss stories and the amount of people that have solely credited their weight loss to BJJ training is huge. BJJ has it's own kind of fitness which is extremely hard to get without actually training BJJ. I have trained alongside your every day joe blow who trains 1-2 times a week casually and their wrestling/BJJ fitness commonly outlast the fitness of someone who runs 10km everyday but has never actually trained in martial arts or BJJ before. In short this 1st excuse is not going to stand with anyone with half a brain because BJJ is so often credited to weight loss and mass increase in fitness that the simple fact you want to lose weight or get fit should be more than enough for a person to start training BJJ.

"The detailed study of what can make

A Strong Man Weak,

A Fast Man Slow

And a Heavy Man Light

Is the Basis of the Sport of Jiu Jitsu

And can make for a Lifetime of Study"

- John Danaher

2. I'm to small or to weak to train BJJ

If this is someones excuse to avoid starting BJJ, then weirdly enough this is actually a really good reason to start training. BJJ is world renown as the sport that enables the little weaker person to be able to control, submit and in cases dominate the much bigger, larger stronger opponent. If the early UFC'S aren't proof enough that BJJ works for the smaller weaker person then I don't know what is. Going through school and my early years of adult hood 18-22 I was always the smaller guy weighing between 65-75 kg (now 90-95 kg) and it wasn't uncommon for me to beat guys weighing in excess of 100kg.

Chas applying a Bow and Arrow Choke

In the 14 plus years I have trained I have come up against guys and girls of all shapes and sizes and some of the heaviest pressure I have had on top of me has come from guys weighing 70-75 kg and in some cases lighter. BJJ can teach people to focus the pressure and feel overwhelmingly heavier to an opponent than they actually are. It can also teach the smaller more agile martial artist to be almost illusive. Recently I competed in a tournament where I had 20 kg on my opponent however when we wrestled it somehow felt like there was next to no pressure or weight on me but I couldn't move. This guy was exceptionally good and just knew after years of training how to place his weight and use his strength and size efficiently to be effective on larger stronger opponents. If you are thinking of starting BJJ but you think you are to small or to weak rethink that and get on the mats. BJJ was originally made for people like you.

3. I don't wanna start BJJ it doesn't work or I trained for 3 months and didnt see any results.

BJJ sees countless amount of people start and leave within the first 6 months of training. I always tell people when they are starting to allow 6 months to start noticing your results. Especially when your at a gym where there may not be as much flow of new members coming and going for whatever reasons. It's hard to see results if your the new guy and everything your being taught, your partners already know those moves, have been training longer and have practised them many times over, so can apply the moves easier.

As I was saying, give it 6 months and when fresh new people start you will start to reap the rewards and see how effective what you learnt actually is. In the mean time learn to take the little wins if your opponents are much more experienced. By little wins I mean can you last longer wrestling now without tiring out?, have you stopped kicking your partners in the head or kneeing their face, sounds silly I know but wrestling coordination is so hard when you start this commonly referred to as "white belt spazzing" which improves over time. In short the easiest way to look at this is like any sport you don't become Michael Jordan or Lebron James overnight, it takes years of experience and practice.

These are the 3 most common excuses I have heard or even used over the past 14 years and even though this won't stop people from using them hopefully it makes you think twice before trying to skip a class or lesson with no real excuse.

"In general I believe an excuse is simply a form of avoidance that can somewhat make a person feel falsely satisfied with why they won't do something"
Chas Barker

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