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Getting Started: A White-Belt’s Perspective

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

I’m about to turn 40 and approaching about 2 years as a white-belt and here’s some perspective of my journey [with Profectus Jiu Jitsu] so far.

Here’s the short version: it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried doing, but it’s also been one of the most rewarding things I’ve pursued. It’s been rewarding for three reason. First, I’ve learned to enjoy doing something extremely difficult especially in my stage of life. Secondly, I’ve learned to take care of my body both physically and mentally. And third, I’ve enjoyed the friends along the way who are the kind of friends who aren’t afraid to challenge you.

Doing Something Difficult Even after having competed at a Division 1 level sport, learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been the hardest skill I’ve tried to pickup. To be honest, it’s more than just a skill. It really is a lifestyle. It affects your mind, strength, and fortitude in ways that I had never experienced before. Sure, I’ve had my share of injuries, but it’s been these injuries that have presented themselves as fears I’ve challenged myself to overcome. There have been countless times where I’ve looked for excuses to not show up and train such as being tired from a busy day or the fear of getting injured, but it’s these very obstacles that have shown me that I must show up.

Taking Care of Yourself Like many who approach their 40s, they find themselves in the middle of a demanding career and a family to take care of and they let taking care of themselves fall to the wayside. That was me. It’s like a baker who’s busy baking bread all day for other people, but forgets to eat themselves. Learning BJJ is not just an opportunity to get in great physical shape, but will stimulate your mind and spirit.

Friends That Challenge You Through the curve balls that life has thrown at me, I’ve learned that is not what you achieve, but who you achieve it with. It’s not much fun celebrating victories by yourself. Profectus Jiu-Jitsu has been a place where you are welcomed, no matter who you are, where you’ve come from, your skin color, or what you believe. There are people who are interested in helping you find your own victories whether that’s losing weight, becoming confident, learning to fight, or winning tournaments. For me, it’s a personal journey. I may not have any (serious) ambitions to win any tournaments, but it’s about becoming a stronger and better person and I know that the people I train with can help me with that. If any of this resonated with you, I hope to meet you on the mats.

- JJ

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