One of the coolest things about Jiu-Jitsu is that we’re like a big extended family, you’ll be welcomed at most any mat across the country (or the world!) and since BJJ people love training so much, they often continue to do so even when they’re on vacation, or traveling for work. Although Nebraska is directly in the middle of flyover country, and we’re not exactly a Jiu-Jitsu hot spot, since Lincoln BJJ Center is in the capital city, we occasionally get out-of-town visitors who are here because of their jobs or families, and it’s always fun and interesting to have people from other places and schools train with us! The majority of them have been blue belts, with an occasional purple, and they’ve seemed to have many positive things to say about training at LBJJC.
A few of our students have also dropped by other Jiu-Jitsu schools when they were out of town, and one comment I’ve heard is how big some of the schools were. Lincoln BJJ is still on the smaller side (but growing every day!), we only have one black belt, one purple, about twenty blues, and a lot of whites, but I think we’re actually ahead of the curve for a school that’s only been around for two years, since many of us trained in non-BJJ grappling for a long time before LBJJC opened.
Since Lincoln is also a college town, another way we’ve picked up new students who’ve previously trained elsewhere is when they come here for school. That’s actually how My Mentor Mike from Maryland ended up training with us, and the most recent UNL student to join us is a BJJ brown belt from Brazil. Alejandro has been training Jiu-Jitsu since he was a child, and it’s so exciting to have him around! Whenever he shows up and I’m there, he always comes up to me and shakes my hand, which makes me feel like he respects me as a peer, and that’s super cool! I haven’t actually rolled with him yet, but I’ve been able to watch him roll with a few other people, and it’s very impressive. Someone asked one of our blue belts how he did rolling with Alejandro, and he said “I tapped him a bunch of times…I tapped his arm, I tapped his leg….”.
Thanks to this blog, I’ve also had some people invite me to come to various states to train with them (which I would do if I could!), and I feel as though I would be just as welcome at their schools as I am at my own. People who grapple have a strong connection across the world, and we understand one another in ways that outsiders never can. If you train Jiu-Jitsu, you are one of us, and we’re always happy to have you at our school, so if you ever find yourself near Lincoln, please stop by LBJJC while you’re here!