Do You

“Do your own thing on your own terms, and get what you came here for.”  -Oliver James

It’s sometimes said that if you want to train BJJ, then you have to do x, y, and z, but I don’t always agree, because people have varying reasons for training, and they don’t necessarily share the same goals. For example, I’ve heard that you must go to class at least twice per week, and there’s no question that the more often you train, the faster you’ll improve, but not everyone who does Jiu-Jitsu even cares about that. You might just be doing it for fun, and you aren’t as focused on promoting, or maybe you’re unable to train that often because of other obligations or interests, so if you only want to go to class once a week, or even just once a month, then you should do that (because it’s better than nothing!).

I also don’t think it’s vital to your training that you compete. I definitely agree that competition is a valuable learning tool which can’t be replicated in class, but not everyone is interested in it, and that’s perfectly okay. Tournaments usually aren’t cheap, and they often require traveling, which isn’t always an option for all, so if you don’t want to compete, for whatever reason, you shouldn’t feel pressured to do it.

Do what makes you happy.Another thing I don’t believe to be true is that you have to get good at takedowns and throws in order do Jiu-Jitsu (especially if you aren’t planning on competing, and you’re not concerned with self-defense). Let’s face it, most BJJ schools start rolling from the knees, and there’s usually less opportunity to practice stand-up sparring during class, so if you just want to jump guard, I don’t really see anything wrong with it.

In the interest of disclosure, I’ll end by saying that I do train Jiu-Jitsu 2-4 days each week, I’ve competed on a regular basis, and I practice stand-up outside of BJJ class, because I want to be able to throw (and also to not get thrown!). That’s how I roll, but you can do it however you want, and it’s nobody’s business but your own.

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