Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Excuses for Not Training

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is very popular right now, thanks in large part to the many submissions you see in the UFC. 
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the vast majority of  people interested in the sport never actually get around to training in it. 
Here are the excuses I hear most often:
Some people will tell you that they really want to train, BUT they first want to get in shape and then get onto the mat.  The funny thing is, that a year later they'll tell you the exact same thing: any day now they'll get in shape and then start training. 
If I only had a dollar for every time I've heard that line about wanting to get into shape before starting to train...
At some point you've just got to bite the bullet, get your butt onto the mat and let BJJ training itself get you into shape.
Other people feel awkward about signing up because they wouldn't be able to train more than once or twice a week. They want to know, "will I really be able to make progress, training only once a week"?
Listen to me: the answer to that question is YES.  You can make progress, even with infrequent training, so don't let this stop you from starting BJJ! 
Of course it would be better if you could train four times a week, but training once a week is about a hundred times better than not training at all! You WILL make progress - remember the parable about the tortoise and the hare! Sometimes it's even best to make slow and steady progress, rather than go all out right off the bat.

Another common excuse goes like this "I'm too busy right now.  Maybe I'll start training BJJ three months from now when things quiet down a bit..."

Please don't get me wrong: if your work and/or family commitments make it impossible for you to train right now then I have a lot of sympathy for you.
...if you're 'too busy' to train and still manage to watch 2 hours of TV, or spend your whole weekend playing video games, then you're NOT too busy.  It's just that you've got different priorities.  At some point you have to make the decision "do I want to learn BJJ", and if the answer is "yes!" then you have to adjust those priorities accordingly.

John F. Kennedy, told this story shortly before he died:

"Frank O'Conner, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall - and then they had no choice but to follow them."

In that speech Kennedy was trying to convince the nation to 'throw its hat over the wall of space' and support the Apollo moon-landing program.

Right now it's the season for making New Year's resolutions (and acting on them).  So if you've always wanted to train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu then go ahead and throw your hat over the wall of BJJ!

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