Things they don’t tell you when you start BJJ

Jiu-jitsu is a strange journey, and while I’ve had that thought before, I usually let it pass. Recently, I was on a flight back from a Globetrotter camp and had far too much time on my hands (which is dangerous, as anyone that knows me while tell you; a bored Nelson will find a way to not be bored). As I sat there, it began to occur to me just how many little discoveries and observations I had made because of jiu-jitsu. Here are some of the things that they don’t tell you about starting jiu-jitsu:

  • You will be more familiar with the terms like ACL, MCL, PCL and AC joint than you wish you were.

  • You will know the regulations on syringes and how to get one no matter what state/country you live (veterinary or farm supply stores). Cauliflowers. Must. Be. Drained.

  • It is only a matter of time before you start pronouncing every R as an H in your head.

  • You have intense cravings for acai.

  • You will throw the porras around.

  • You will become a choke snob. All of your favorite movies will be downgraded by the terrible technique on "sleeper holds” and how a bad choke instantly kills everyone.

  • You will break at least one washing machine drying your gis.

  • You will come up with your own way to prevent and treat ringworm.

  • You will be compared to your friend’s/boss’s/coworker’s nephew who trains karate and got his black belt already. What’s taking you so long?

  • Abu Dhabi will become a tournament, not a travel destination.

  • You will become addicted to training.

  • You will hip escape in your sleep.

  • Hugs will become a battle for underhooks.

  • It will go from that thing you do Tuesday and Thursday nights to a lifestyle.

  • You goal weight will become a weight class.

  • Your clothes will not fit the same.

  • Your fingers will callus.

  • You will eventually watch people you have trained or competed against fight in televised events.

  • That blue belt that keeps armbarring you will become one of your best friends.

  • You will lose friends and significant others that don't understand why you waste all your time on that jiu-jitsu thing.

  • The hardest part about being injured will not be the pain but rather the not training.

  • You will love the boring part of MMA that everyone else boos.

  • You will find the beauty of other grappling sports like wrestling and Judo that you had no interest in before.

  • Tournament shirts will be large part of your wardrobe.

  • You will start applying what you learn in jiu-jitsu into other parts of your life.

What are some parts of jiu-jitsu that have become a part of your life that weren’t part of the sales pitch? Add your own!

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