After I broke my wrist and I was walking around with my arm in a sling, when outsiders would ask me how it happened, I usually told them it was when I was doing Judo. This isn’t technically accurate, because I was in Jiu-Jitsu class when it happened, but I can’t get over thinking of throwing as Judo! Actually, the main reason I would say that (besides that I don’t want to blame it on Jiu-Jitsu ;) is because most people have a vague understanding of what Judo is, whereas when I say Jiu-Jitsu they just stare at me blankly, or say “Gesundheit!”
I don’t normally tell people who I don’t know that I train martial arts at all, but one time I mentioned to my dentist that I practice Jiu-Jitsu, and then I added “Yeah, I know, you have no idea what that is.” He said “Now, hold on…it’s like wrestling with armbars and chokes…you wear gis…right? I was very pleasantly surprised! It turns out that he was a wrestler back in the day, and he thought it was really cool that I train Jiu-Jitsu. I still couldn’t talk him into coming down and trying a class though, darn it!
|Jiu-Jitsu is awesome!|
I used to try to explain what Jiu-Jitsu is to everyone I know, and then I would attempt to talk them into trying it (especially women), but I gave up after so many of them were like “Oh yeah, that sounds so totally awesome! I will definitely try it!”, then they never do. I recently realized that most of the regular women we have in our Jiu-Jitsu class came from other arts, so now I just try to recruit from there.
Hopefully someday I will be able to say “Jiu-Jitsu” and most people will have at least heard of it, like Judo and Karate. Right now I’m usually impressed if they can simply repeat the word after me (which is even more fun if I say it with a Brazilian accent!). Luckily, Jiu-Jitsu seems to be coming into the spotlight more all the time, and our numbers grow every day. I think I’m just going start telling everyone I see about it, so then at least all of those people will have heard the word! I might even take it a step further, and start standing on the side of the street wearing my gi and carrying a big sign that says “If you don’t know Jiu-Jitsu, I will choke you!”.