Fitness, Self-Defense, and BJJ



One of the most frequent reasons I hear for someone not doing BJJ or attending a force-on-force class like Craig Douglas’ ECQC is “I need to get in shape first”. I really, truly hate hearing that. Here is why.

The biggest problem I have with that excuse is that we don’t have unlimited time unfortunately. If it is important to us to learn to protect ourselves and defend our loved ones, than there is no time to waste. Waiting until some future moment down the road until we can begin an activity that will require lots of time to do anyway means we are that further away from accomplishing our self-defense goals. A course like ECQC may very well be the single most important SD oriented class you ever take, one that will completely alter what you are currently doing as far as your own training. Why wait to implement that? Because it is a physical class? So what? We are not trying to “win” in such a situation; on the contrary, we are looking to learn, and learning often is best learned through failure. Jump in headfirst as soon as possible. Learn from the experience, and then you will have a much better idea of the next step. Don’t waste another second.

The other main reason I hate that excuse is because real training, as exemplified by authentic Brazilian jiu-jitsu, will get you into the shape you need. It has too, because you are doing physical things and building fitness by doing fight oriented training. One of the reasons being at a BJJ gym is so useful is because it does much more than teach you grappling. See my old article here for more detail:

What is more efficient –  building strength and conditioning through non-fight dedicated work, or doing fight focused training that gets you into true fighting shape? If you do the former, you still have to then translate that new S&C work and figure out how to apply it as a driver to your self-defense work. Just jumping in at a local BJJ school will take care of that, plus much, much more. And in spades. You will truly know you can fight for X amount of time because you do it all the time. Not worry that your WOD workout did not get you into enough shape to deal with a committed attacker.

So please, don’t procrastinate. Find a BJJ gym, or sign up for an upcoming ECQC, or one of my weekend seminars, or classes taught by Paul Sharp of Sharp Defense. Start training now. The sooner you do, the sooner you will have a skill set and the work capacity to protect yourself or a loved one

3 thoughts on “Fitness, Self-Defense, and BJJ”

  1. I wish people would just “own it.” I have passed on the most recent class (vcast) due to piss poor planning on my part and the ecqc before that due to laziness. Trained with Craig and you in both the best and 2nd worst shape of my life, with a few in between…learned buckets of knowledge each time.

  2. I feel ya Jason. I did an ECQC(as much as I could) with a broken foot. I learned tons during that coursework. I smoke too much and don’t always take the best care of my body but I still train regularly and can’t wait to get back on the mats at Team Megaton. Take a class, join a gym or just get off your duff and go for a walk.

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