In Jiu Jitsu we are always learning and always students of the art.
There is a high level of respect for both the art and those who teach us, but sometimes this can leave us with questions we are just too scared to ask.
These questions usually frustrate us because we don’t know what others will think when we ask or how they will react.
However also sometimes we feel as though the answer may disrupt our own predetermined thoughts and beliefs about the art and life in general.
It is my firm belief we should not remain silent because in the end silence is the greatest killer of knowledge and dreams.
So I want to talk about the three questions I have noticed most people let fear keep them from asking and what my own belief on the subject is.
How Many Gi’s do I Really Need?
The first question is usually only thought of by the white belts who are new to the art. How many gis do I really need to have ? So many people collect gi’s now that’s this is usually not an issue, but we have all seen that white belt who trains every day , but only has one gi. The answer to this first question is simple. How much laundry do you want to do and how fast can you dry your gi? If you want to go home every night and do gi laundry right away than sure you can probably get away with one gi, but I still wouldn’t advise this. The other issue is that your gi will wear out much faster if you do this. I always tell people to have at least half as many gi’s as the amount of days you would like to train in order to preserve your gis and save time as well.
Is Jiu Jitsu Enough?
The next question is usually stuck in the mind of the “fighters” who enroll to become a “badass” or the Girls and others who want to learn self-defense..”Will BJJ be enough to defend myself on the streets”. Sometimes people are afraid to bring this up in fear of disrespecting their instructor or the, but in reality this has always been a hot debate. The one thing I like to remember when thinking about this is how awkward and uncoordinated I was before starting to train. 95% of anyone who attacks you on the street is probably going to be just as uncoordinated. If you train and learn how to control distance and take the attacker to the ground or vice versa you are definitely at an advantage and will most likely be able to defend yourself with ease.
Do I Need a Strength and Conditioning Program ?
The next question is thought of mostly in the competition scene but also elsewhere. Do I need to do extra cardio and weight training in order to do well in the competition scene? There is no easy answer to this question. In a sport where technique is highly praised over strength the subject of weight training seems kind of awkward to talk about. However if you look at some of the best Jiu Jitsu black belts almost all of them have some sort of strength and conditioning program to keep them in phenomenal shape. This is not to say that they all do or no one wins that isn’t in incredible physical shape because some do. It is also important to point out though that many of the athletes who do not do extra strength and conditioning are the ones who train BJJ 6-8 hours a day. So when answering this question we must ask two things of ourselves. First can my body take many ,many hours of rolling and can my mind handle it ? Do I train at a gym that will allow this kind of ongoing daily training And will my life outside of Jiu Jitsu allow this chunk of time to be spent? If the answer to any of these constraints is no , then it could be beneficial to add in some extra cardio and weight training when your schedule allows it. In the end this is a personal decision and you must figure out what works for your own personal schedule. Remember we are BJJ students, but we are also athletes in a sport that many people take very seriously , so should you.