Back in June, I wrote a post about my experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when a blue belt visited our class. Since then, I have only had one other experience in groundfighting when a couple of my instructors and I visited our sister class. I enjoyed both classes and in the following months have wished "If only there was a BJJ school nearby with tuition that fell under the category of 'poor college student rate!'" ever since.
Little did I know that there was a class with exactly those specifics.
Oh how I adore Facebook. For all of the multitude of ads, annoying game requests and apps friends send, there is a plus side. While checking my newsfeed for the day, I happened upon an update that one of my friends from college was added to a martial arts group. Intrigued, I sent a message to my friend who also does Tae Kwon Do (at a different school) and found out the details of the class.
I attended my second class last week and am definitely hooked. As much as I still love my Tae Kwon Do and will of course continue my training (after all, Tae Kwon Do is my first love), it's refreshing to be a white belt again in something for a change after being the ranking student for so long. There's something inherently exciting about starting something new. I
don't have to think about belt tests, teaching others....I'm just there
to learn...for myself.
BJJ is so different to what I am used to, yet the concepts are similar and familiar. I think it's going to really complement my standing martial art well. We worked on an armbar at my first class and that was a familiar motion to me, as we do a lot of arm bars in self defense at TKD.
The soreness is something new. It's not like I'm never sore in Tae Kwon Do, but the amount of time spent on the ground and fighting for position takes a toll on muscles I don't use as frequently. The first class I went to, I was taught several techniques, but it was requested that I wait to spar or "roll" as it is called in BJJ. Last week, I was able to roll for the first time and slightly pulled a muscle in my back that has since healed thankfully.
The learning curve and mindset is something I'm getting used to. You don't punch or kick your opponent, instead going for submissions, chokes, and the like. My muscle memory and previous experience wants me to go for the punch or elbow, especially when the face is not guarded, but this is not the goal. There's also a whole lot of me thinking "Uh....what do I do now?" as I know only a handful of techniques and figuring out when I can use them depends on getting the other person into the right position. In theory, an arm bar is relatively simple when you're working with a partner who's in position for one. When they're not, it suddenly becomes that much harder.
I'm looking forward to adding more techniques to my repertoire and getting out of the "What do I do now?" stage.