My McHugh BJJ Rash Guard

Peer pressured (in a friendly way by a coach/friend), I tried my first nogi class last week and had a great time! For anyone not familiar with jiu jitsu, nogi is simply jiu jitsu without the gi. On the plus side, the rash guard is amazingly comfortable and it’s nice not to have the weight and stiffness of the gi slowing me down. My main negative is there are no grips to hold onto and the human body is very slippery, especially a sweaty human body in a rash guard! But everyone else is in the same boat.

Instead of holding onto the gi sleeves and lapels, we try to directly control elbows, wrists, hips, and so on. It was a real challenge but also a lot of fun. The upper belts and coaches have said that training nogi helps your gi game. Because if you can do a move without grips in nogi, getting grips in the gi becomes a bonus.

Now that McHugh’s is offering a noon class every day, I want to get to as many of them as possible and Wednesdays are always nogi so there it is. Just adding another tool to the toolbox.

McHugh Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Well, I’m a White Belt So….

My neighbor and friend started doing Jiu Jitsu with me. I was so excited when she mentioned casually that she wanted to try it and turns out, she likes it. So yay! I took the first class with her and was her training partner. It was so very nice to help a newbie who is even newer than me. I felt like I actually knew something. Not that I’m a jiu jitsu teacher or anything but I love helping people with this kind of stuff. That’s one reason I became a personal trainer 7 years ago.

Anyway, after a few starts and stops, she sent me pictures of her neck and arm, proudly displaying her bruises. I welcomed her to jiu jitsu. And then she told me she was frustrated. After 3 classes, she was frustrated. I had to laugh. I’m frustrated after the equivalent of 7 months and I don’t think this is the end of frustration. I did 4 months when I first started and have been consistently training since March now.

A couple of nights later in class, I was overtired, had overtrained for the week, and was close to tears as I realized I couldn’t remember how to do something I had drilled repeatedly that morning. I mean, how can you totally suck at something only hours after going over it again and again in a private session? But there it is. I suck and it’s frustrating. I feel like I should be better. When I told Coach Tony the next day about all this, he laughed at both me and my friend. He said that saying I was frustrated at not being better is just as ridiculous as my friend saying it. We are both beginners. A white belt, by definition, is a beginner. We’re not expected to be good. In fact, when I think about it, it’s a little liberating to be allowed to suck. When you’re at the bottom, the only way to go is up. And I think I’ll keep going.

Recommended reading from an excellent jiu jitsu blog: Why it’s cool to suck at jiu jitsu