Jiu Jitsu is an Ultramarathon – Airlock Jiu Jitsu Bastrop, TX

Here at Airlock Jiu Jitsu, working with brand new beginners in jiu jitsu is sort of our specialty. Whether it’s due to our professor Rei Villa’s years of experience as a trainer for Army Combatives or as a Sheepdog Response Instructor or whether it’s due to being the new gym in town, so many of our students are people who are starting training BJJ for the first time ever.

It’s a phenomenal experience – exactly what we were hoping for when we opened our doors. We’re the new kids on the block here in Bastrop, and we love it! 

One thing that sort of occurs naturally when teaching brand new BJJ beginners is that we find ourselves coming up with all sorts of extremely detailed metaphors to help a new person to understand exactly what they need to know about training a martial art for the first time. Everyone who walks through the doors needs some sort of philosophy that resonates with them to help them understand just how long of a process it is to truly learn the art and skills of grappling.

One metaphor that emerged last week was comparing jiu jitsu to an ultramarathon: stick with us on this one. An ultramarathon in this context just feels like a race you can never finish. It’s an unimaginable distance to accomplish. We’re in awe of anyone who does it! When you first walk in the doors to begin training, you’re just crossing the start line. Welcome to a race that you can spend a lifetime running and never quite get to the finish line! 

As you start, ahead of you in the race is everyone else who has already begun. There are white belts just a few miles ahead, there are blue belts further on, purple and brown belts way out of sight, and black belts who have been running for 10 years WAAAAYYY up ahead. Heck, there are even some coral belts near the finish line. No, they never quite reach it because there is always something new to master, but they can see it at least.

Of course, you can’t control where everyone else is in a race you just started, but you can control 2 things: When you start the race and your pace. As far as starting the race goes, the answer is simple. Want to be further ahead? Then you gotta start now! But your pace? That’s where the metaphor gets interesting. 

If you’ve ever run long distance before, you know that you can’t just get out there on the course and sprint forever. You’ll totally burn out! So no, even if you train hours and hours a day, you won’t catch up to that blue belt in two weeks. They have too much of a head start! But does that mean you can’t push your pace? Of course not! People who train 5 times a week are going to be moving at a faster pace than people training once per week. And as long as you have the drive for it, you can maintain a fast pace, and eventually, you’ll absolutely catch up to people who are out there walking. 

Some days, some weeks, some months even, your pace won’t be up to you. Other things will get in the way, your focus will dip, you’ll hit personal plateaus in learning and application, but guess what? That’s OK. It’s a part of this race. Believe us, the black belts way up there have hit plenty of those moments too. Probably more often than a new beginner who is learning so much so fast.

So our best piece of advice to a brand new jiu jitsu practitioner? Focus on YOUR pace, run your own race, and recognize that you may not catch up to others. Then again, if they slow down and you are driving ahead like the tortoise catching up to the hare, perhaps you will… So START NOW. 

We’ve got just the place for you at Airlock Jiu Jitsu. Start your free week TODAY and get in this dang race. 303 Martin Luther King Dr Bastrop TX. Beginner-friendly classes and atmosphere. Let’s go. 

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