Why Do You Practice BJJ?

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Here’s a fascinating question:

Why do you practice BJJ?​

I have multiple answers.​

My initial reason for starting BJJ was simply because a friend of mine said it’s the best martial arts style. So, in that sense, it didn’t have to be BJJ. If he said Thai boxing was the best, I might have practiced it instead.​

But I happened to start practicing BJJ, and I happened to like it. I think I mentioned this in one of my previous emails a while ago, but I was sold on the idea that a smaller person with skills can beat a bigger & stronger person. I also liked the idea that you can defend yourself and wait until your opponent gets tired until your time to attack comes.​

I started training BJJ in Australia in 2002, and I was the smallest person on the mat. So, obviously, I got beaten up all the time, but I was determined to survive in sparring.​

Now it’s 2021, and most of my training partners are bigger & stronger than me, except I’m in Serbia instead of Australia (or Japan). I can deal with them provided there’s a big enough gap in skill levels between us. So, it took me nearly 20 years, but I suppose I did learn a thing or two about how to grapple with bigger & stronger folks. Size does matter, though. When they have good skills combined with their strength, it becomes tougher to deal with them.​

Perhaps what I should do finally is to put on 20 kgs of muscle and start beating people with extra force. Well, I’m joking… for now.​

I’m too inclined to believe that technique conquers all, and that the name of the game is to improve your skills as much as you can.​

One of the things that I think are great about BJJ is that it reminds you of your weaknesses on a regular basis. You can make excuses, but you can’t fake your skills. If you suck, you suck… and you will be the first one to know it. And you are the one to interpret this news as great or bad.​

I’d say my deeper motivation for getting into martial arts was because I wanted to be stronger as a person. Not just physically, but holistically, let’s say.​

And BJJ reminds me that I can still become better and do better.​

Why do you practice BJJ?​

p.s. This Dean Lister highlight video by Stuart Cooper inspired me to think about & write this post.