The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) community is a strong and steadily growing one. Though composed of people of different genders, ages, and professions, the BJJ community finds strength in having the martial arts discipline as a common ground, which paves the way for quality interactions inside the BJJ gym.
As you join a BJJ gym in Singapore and train regularly, you’ll find yourself meeting a lot of different people. The diversity of the gym population means that you’ll interact with a wide range of personalities.
At first, you probably won’t notice much of these differences. You’ll merely view people in their white gi’s and different colored belts working hard to level up their skills. As you become a regular in the BJJ gym, however, you’ll begin to discover how lively the gym culture is and the nuances of each individual interaction.
With such a colorful array of characters surrounding you, each training session will consistently be as exciting as the next, and you’ll soon discover joy in learning the ‘gentle art.’ Yes, you’ll see the same faces every day, but will very likely make lifelong friends out of them. Your BJJ friends will soon make up a big part of your social network. Along your journey, you will help each other grow as you train, develop, and hone your skills together.
Let’s take a look at the kind of people you will no doubt meet. Today, Evolve Daily shares four types of people you’ll meet in a BJJ gym.
1) The Seasoned Grappler
Seasoned grapplers are pretty distinctive, and they are the faces you quickly recognize. The instructors call them out to the center of the mat to demonstrate techniques and different strategies. They’re the ones to get right to it when sparring is announced.
Usually adopting a no-nonsense attitude to training, seasoned grapplers last longer than the rest and look only mildly winded while the rest of the gym is sprawled out in exhaustion. Even during free rolls, they’re the ones who keep going when everyone else has called it a day. It’s fun to sit on the sidelines and watch them in their element.
They may be intimidating at first, especially once their grappling prowess becomes apparent in demonstration, but they’re actually more than willing to lend a hand for some extra guidance when asked.
Those with more experience in BJJ know how difficult a journey it is. You will need all the help you can get.
2) The Obsessed
It’s actually pretty common to become obsessed with BJJ at some point in your journey, especially once you get the drills and the techniques down pat, and you begin rolling for real. It is truly very easy to see yourself heading down this path.
People who become obsessed with training live and breathe BJJ, and they rarely ever talk about anything else, even outside of the gym. They might make you wonder if they actually live in the gym, or if they even go home at all. If anything is perpetual, it’s definitely their presence in the gym.
Most people obsessed with BJJ spend their time either training, talking about strategy, or watching BJJ on Youtube in some corner. While this obsession may, at times, seem excessive, it’s quite admirable. That passion will surely translate into success in the sport. These people grow and improve at an incredible rate thanks to the hours and dedication they invest.
3) The Instructor
These are the most important people in the room, because your success in the discipline lies in their hands. Each instructor has a distinct personality, and distinct teaching style. But all of them have seen BJJ students build their skills from the ground up. You may find difficulty in seeing your potential, but your instructors recognize it and seek to maximize it.
They are responsible for building your foundation in BJJ, and they guide you through the various drills and help you translate those drills into techniques. Each time you make a mistake, they are there to help you address those mistakes and learn from them.
Admittedly, they do find it amusing when you mess up, but they hide their laughter, so their faces never show it. At the same time, your every victory is also theirs, so while they cordially shake your hand and pat your back, you should know that they are internally shedding tears of joy for how far you’ve come.
We’ve all been beginners at some point, and nobody is a stranger to the feeling of being very lost and out of place each time the instructors speak–especially when they start explaining techniques you are unfamiliar with. You’ll catch up soon, though, as long as you are engaged and eager to learn in every BJJ class.
You may not yet have a complete grasp of the different techniques, and you may still feel a bit awkward doing drills. Don’t be afraid to be constantly tapping out or making mistakes during drills–no one will judge you for it. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself surrounded by supportive teammates each time you fail, usually offering tips and techniques that will prove useful in the future.
After a few weeks, you’ll find yourself fully integrated with the local BJJ gym community. You’ll see newbies coming in, and then you’ll do for them what your seniors and peers did for you as well.
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