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5 Common Myths Beginners Have About Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

We’ve talked to many beginners and longtime students to understand some of the assumptions they had about jiu jitsu before they started training. While these jiu jitsu myths didn’t prevent them from joining, the uncertainty of trying something new often scares some people away.

Today, we want to shed some light on common myths you may have before taking your first class, to provide a more accurate picture of what you can expect. Here are the top five:

1. I Have to get in shape to start taking classes

Sonny Parlin before and after photos

Because jiu jitsu is a great form of exercise, it’s the perfect activity to help you get fit and lose weight.

In fact, our head instructor Sonny Parlin was morbidly obese when he started training. Now in his 40s, he’s in the best shape of his life thanks to jiu jitsu.

Think of it this way: Would you wait to get in shape to join a gym? Just like a traditional chain-style gym, you’ll find people of all fitness levels at a jiu jitsu gym.

As the saying goes, the best time to start was 10 years ago. The second best time is today.

2. I won't fit in

Starting anything new can make you feel like an outsider. What you’ll find, however, is that the jiu jitsu community is full of great people who are eager to bond over a common interest.

Jiu jitsu attracts people from all walks of life—stay-at-home parents, working professionals, students, pro fighters, and more. And it continues to gain more popularity as it becomes more mainstream as a fitness option.

3. I’m too old/young/large/small

Diverse Students 1024x622, Gracie Bradenton

Similar to the myth that you need to be in shape to start jiu jitsu, you may also think you need to be a certain age or body type. This is also not true. Students range from children as young as four to adults over 70. And if you visit a typical class at most jiu jitsu gyms, you’ll see students of all shapes and sizes.

The beauty of jiu jitsu as a martial art is that it is a great equalizer. It’s based on the idea that you can gain a dominant position and defeat an attacker, even if they’re bigger or stronger than you. That’s why jiu jitsu is especially effective for women.

4. I won't know what to do 

You’re right, and that’s ok. Everyone feels out of place during their first month or so. The great thing about jiu jitsu is that you’re never done learning. It’s not like you receive a black belt and know everything there is to know. There’s always details and nuances that can further improve your techniques. Keep in mind that no one expects you to get it on your first (or even 20th!) day.

5. It's a bunch of muscle-bound guys who will smash me on my first day

36674479 221986388434140 3409111638157033472 N, Gracie Bradenton

It can be intimidating to walk into a jiu jitsu gym and see people who are maybe more fit or more experienced than you are. But contrary to what you might think, their goal is not to embarrass or humiliate you. Their goal is to get better at jiu jitsu and help you do the same.

Many times that means giving you suggestions, correcting errors you may be making, or live drilling with you. Becoming good at jiu jitsu is just as much about being a good training partner to others as it is about perfecting techniques and strategies. The key is to just keep showing up and training, and eventually it will all fall into place.

Ready to give jiu jitsu a try? Schedule a free trial class at Gracie