During those times when I feel like I still know almost nothing about Jiu-Jitsu, it’s comforting to think back to the time when I really did know nothing. I was so clueless in the beginning that I didn’t even realize how clueless I was. Now at least I can begin to understand how much there is that I don’t know about this beautiful, complicated art.
In women’s class when we’ve told new students that we were going to be working on submissions, we’ve had a few of them ask “What’s a submission?” That really puts things into perspective. I have a feeling that most men who start Jiu-Jitsu already have some idea of what a submission is (and if they don’t know, they won’t ask…damn male ego).
So, thankfully I already knew what a submission was when I started! I probably knew more about a lot of things than the average person, due to my previous MA training, which made the entrance into Jiu-Jitsu a little more comfortable for me. I really can’t imagine what it would be like to walk into a class for the first time and not even have any understanding of submissions. Talk about overwhelming!
We all start from different places of know-nothing-ness. Some of us come in as completely empty vessels who have no clue. Others, like myself, have a limited understanding but no real knowledge of grappling. Some have athletic or martial backgrounds which are helpful, but can also hinder, as they may need to overcome previous training that conflicts with the Jiu-Jitsu way.
It doesn’t matter where you start, in the beginning we all know next to nothing. We might know things about other arts, or sports, or have an understanding of grappling, but the only way to know Jiu-Jitsu is to train Jiu-Jitsu. Even if it seems like you started farther back than others, or are taking longer to travel the path, it still leads to the same place. You just have to keep walking.
“We walk the same path, but got on different shoes. Live in the same building, but we got different views.”