Getting Fit For Jiu Jitsu: My Experience

Jiu Jitsu changed my life. Super cliché but its true. When I started training I was a little over two hundred pounds, at 5’8″ that’s overweight but nothing crazy. I was very active, I went to the gym almost every day. The problem was I ate like shit. Seriously, I would rarely eat a vegetable unless it was on a pizza or a subway sandwich. I was living the typical college life.

After about a year of training I started to implement a few lifestyle changes that my training partners often talked about. I lowered the amount of sugar in my diet and started eating salad more often. I noticed some big changes from this, I had more energy and I just felt better all around (who knew you shouldn’t eat pizza and doughnuts every day?).

Me and one of my buddy’s decided to go on a trip to watch a UFC Fight Night, just so happened that there was a Jiu Jitsu tournament the day before in a town close by. So me and my friend sign up and compete. Because of the little bit of dieting I had been doing I was down to 190 pounds and competed in the white belt 190 lbs division. I competed and didn’t do terrible but I lost. One of the guys I competed against who got gold came up to me after our bracket was done and said “man you gave us a hard time, why don’t you cut some weight? You would kill it in a lighter division.” This one comment seriously changed my life. Everyone I competed against was in really good shape and I was not. They were also about half a foot taller than me. I started thinking to myself, He’s right. Why don’t I just lose some weight?

After that tournament I got really serious about my health and fitness. I watched as many videos and read as much information about dieting as I could. Over the next six months I lost forty pounds and I’ve successfully kept that weight off for about a year and a half now. Not only do I feel much better but my Jiu Jitsu completely changed. When I was two-hundred pounds I would try to use my weight and out muscle everyone, but as I lost the weight this wasn’t an option anymore. I started working my guard game a lot more, soon it was my go to. I became a lot more dexterous and my technique became much better and continued to grow faster.

I think losing that forty pounds was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and it all stemmed from Jiu Jitsu. There are I few lessons I’ve taken away from this experience. One is that getting into good shape and staying there is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Everyone should strive for optimum health and fitness. The second thing I learned is that Jiu Jitsu will get you in shape. You shouldn’t wait to join JIu JItsu until you get in shape. I have a buddy who said he was going to get in shape before he started Jiu Jitsu. He spent months at the gym before he showed up to a class and when he did he got his ass kicked just like everyone else does. What will make you better at Jiu Jitsu is training more Jiu Jitsu. Getting in shape will accelerate the process but you shouldn’t wait until you’re in shape, just start training now and you will get in shape.

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