Is Jiu Jitsu Hard? (The Truth About Training and Fighting in BJJ)

If you’re a beginner just starting out at jiu jitsu, it can feel incredibly hard and you may be wondering if it’s just you.

Well we’re here to tell you that it’s not just you and many beginners struggle to grasp the basics of jiu jitsu. 

Is Jiu Jitsu Hard?

Brazilian jiu jitsu is one of the lesser known martial arts, it involves grappling your opponent to force them into submission onto the ground, these grappling techniques can make it hard for beginners to grasp.

In this article we’ll be introducing you to jiu jitsu and discussing why it is so difficult. We’ll be referring to Brazilian jiu jitsu instead of japanese jiu jitsu. 

What Is Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu jitsu is a predominantly ground based martial art, instead of other martial arts that focus on using strikes or kicks to force your opponent into submission, jiu jitsu focuses on using grappling techniques to bring your opponent into the ground in a non-violent way via chokeholds or joint locks.

It takes a lot of skill to master the principles of leverage, angles and timing to get your opponent on the floor to submit. 

In a competition setting, the combat will usually begin standing up, but most of the fighting will usually take place on the floor.

An opponent can willingly go to the floor to sit and put up a block tactically and this person can try to reverse the situation by becoming the one with the higher ground. 

The combat will only end once the opponent surrenders by giving three taps on the floor, or on their opponent or the match will be stopped if the opponent is no longer in a condition to fight.

If none of these scenarios happen, then the person who has scored the highest amount of points will be awarded the win. 

Is Jiu Jitsu Hard?

Yes, it’s quite hard for a beginner to learn jiu jitsu. It has many grappling techniques that a newbie will have to get used to, and it’s also hard to learn how to force an opponent into submission, and we’ll look at the reasons why jiu jitsu is so hard in more detail. 

It’s A Complex Sport

It’s A Complex Sport

Other martial arts will usually employ tactics such as striking or kicking, it’s easy once you have the hang of these movements to put together a fighting style.

But with jiu jitsu it’s not that easy, it involves something that’s not very common in sport, grappling.

Now it may seem easy, but in practice when you have an opponent trying to fight back to grapple you into submission, it becomes super difficult.

There are various techniques that can be used regarding grappling and you’ll need to learn some specific skills to be able to effectively grapple someone onto the floor:

  • Learn the principles of leverage, timing and agility so that you can effectively grapple someone
  • You’ll need to be able to apply pressure to your opponent when you’re on top of them, but it also has to be the right amount of pressure
  • You’ll need to be able to perform explosive movements 
  • Be able to fight your opponent whilst you’re laying on the floor and avoid submitting 
  • You have to be able to take your opponent down using specific skills and keep them down

In a sparring session you will get the feel of how jiu jitsu really is, and you’ll find out that it’s a really difficult martial art to master.

You may feel disheartened by constantly getting put into submission, but everyone has been through it and once you learn how to perfectly execute the techniques by constant repetition you’ll get the hang of it and soon be on your way to becoming skilled at jiu jitsu

It Has A Long Learning Curve

Many martial arts will have a decently long learning curve, karate can take up to a year to learn whilst taekwondo can take upto two.

But jiu jitsu can take over three years to learn and move from a white belt to a blue belt and that’s taking into account hard work and dedication. Becoming a black belt in jiu jitsu can take around 8-10 years of serious training and dedication.

People joining jiu jitsu classes often join with the notion that it’ll be easy and usually get put off very quickly when they find out how difficult it is.

It’s best to go into it with no preconceived idea of how difficult or easy it is, that way you’re not shocked when your blood is pumping and your heart rate is revved up or demotivated when you’re getting put into submission for your first few months.

It’s Physically And Mentally Exhausting

When you first join a jiu jitsu class it can seem intimidating and scary, but you shouldn’t be afraid.

Many of the people you’ll be sparring with will either be in your position or have been previously, it can be frustrating and stressful trying to spar when you have little to no knowledge about what you should be doing, but sometimes this is the best way to learn. 

In jiu jitsu you’ll most likely be sparring with heavier people or more experienced practitioners, this can put you on edge and ultimately put you on the defensive before the session has even begun.

You’ll probably be put into submission most sessions, which can prove frustrating and it’s hard to keep control, but that’s what jiu jitsu is all about, remaining mentally calm and focused.

The real test is how much willpower you have to keep getting back up and trying again and to also dig deeper within yourself to find extra strength to avoid tapping out. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, hopefully by now you have a better understanding of jiu jitsu and why it is so difficult to learn.

This shouldn’t put you off, but rather give you a new perspective to keep trying to learn this martial art and eventually master it. 

Christopher Anderson
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