With its strange outfits and obsessive fans, Brazilian jiu-jitsu can seem cult-like to those on the outside, but for practitioners the martial art is surprisingly compassionate. I am not naturally athletic and was sluggish and tired from changing jobs and cities.
The first class consisted of various warm-up drills, which included hip escapes, where you scoot backwards on the floor down the mat, forward rolls sort of like a somersault and backwards rolls, where you roll over your shoulder. I was startled and embarrassed by my lack of coordination in these seemingly basic moves, but I was with lots of beginners, at least.
I had never felt so confused, embarrassed and out of sync with my body before, but by the end of the class, I felt the expansive excitement of having learned something. I was going to have to come back to get the hang of this.
I had to know. But over time, jiu jitsu has sunk itself deep into my veins.
After that first class, it soon became all I could think about. To those outside, it can appear to be a cult.
We wear funny-looking outfits either a gi — jacket, pants and belt — or, for no-gi, spats and a tight-fitting rashguard. The sport was introduced to Australia inand interest in it has been on the rise lately.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu: 'a soul-destroying, ego-clipping sport that's sunk deep into my veins'
Figures are hard to come by, but it is estimated there are 15, practitioners in Australia today. For the hooked, it seems obvious that everyone would love it if they just tried it.
Instead, you could tear an anterior cruciate ligament, or even knee yourself in the nose. How could you not like that?
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To unfunny, homophobic television writers from the early s, it might even come across as, god-forbid, a little gay. The technical depths of jiu jitsu are vast and ever evolving, and there are as many styles as there are body types.
As a clumsy year-old, I am not quick to pick up new skills, but where I was once afraid of being seen failing, I have learned to embrace failure as the starting place for improvement. This openness to being wrong is something I try to carry with me in all areas of my life — as a writer especially.
Consent and support are beneath the violence of the grappling art. For me personally, this intense connection comes from the joy I feel when I help a newer person with a technique, and then see them pull it off, or the heart swell from having training partners cheer me on in a competition. Brazilian jiu-jitsu: 'A soul-destroying, ego-clipping sport that's sunk deep into my veins'.
Elena Gomez. Tue 21 Jan Fitness tips: three benefits of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Homophobia and brazillian jiu jitsu
. Fit in my 40s: will Brazilian jiu-jitsu give me a body like Hercules? Zoe Williams. Reuse this content.