Last week I got back into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I am extremely excited. Jiu-Jitsu is extremely useful for fighting and self-defense, it is fantastic exercise, it is a great sport, and it is an amazing way to meet new friends. I am very glad to be back into it.
I started doing Jiu-Jitsu about a year and a half ago but I had to drive quite a distance to train and this was back when I lived in Oregon which meant driving through the snow during the winter months of the year. This meant that sometimes I went and other times I did not, but now that I am back in Southern California and I do not have to worry about snow or the distance, it is easy to train.
In addition to the ease of access, I really love my new gym so far. Caique Jiu-Jitsu in Lomita California has been amazing. They offer 20+ classes each week so it is very easy to find a time that works best for me. The gym also has a detailed white to blue belt program that gives new students a timeline that they can effectively put themselves on and look forward to a reward. Now some students may get stripes on their belt quicker than others, and some longer than others, but based on the class organization and the frequency of them, it adequately gives students something they can look forward to.
My last gym did not have a belt stripe system (stripes are given as students prove they are more proficient in the martial art) and instead they were given at my teacher’s discretion. In my opinion this is not a very good system to go by because it really discourages new students. I never had any idea when I was going to get a stripe (if I was going to get one at all) and there were no clear lessons or techniques that I had to know to merit getting one. In the end I never got a stripe, and this definitely made me lose interested in Jiu-Jitsu. Now I do not necessarily think that I merited a stripe, but I had no idea where I was as a student and every time I went to class it seemed like a stripe was something that was unattainable. It just felt as if I was never going anywhere.
That is why I like Caique’s system. The classes are structured to teach the fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu and additionally they are very repetitive. This at first may sound bad, but the repetition is very good. This was something I lacked from my last gym as the classes would move around would teach different things every day. At Caique’s gym there are many classes that range from fundamentals, to striking, to advanced, to etc. So if I go to the fundamentals classes over and over again I know I will learn them. Already my fundamentals such as shrimping, knee on stomach, and side control, and ki-locks are improving much more so than before.
I just keep this up going to classes regularly, at least three to four times a week and before I know it I will be a one stripe white belt! And even though it will be a relatively minor accomplishment, it will feel very good.