My Story: How I started in Jiu-jitsu
When I first moved to Manchester as a Karate black belt, I really missed training and the camaraderie so I visited several karate clubs in the area trying to find a new home. I ended up finding a club that had very high training standards, but I always felt that the people there all knew each other and that I was the "new guy", albeit a welcome guest but a guest nonetheless. That was when I decided to find a new pursuit to learn new skills and, just as importantly, meet new friends. I wanted to be a beginner again. A beginner amongst other beginners.
I had heard a lot about Thai Boxing and located the address of a reputable club in city centre but, being new to the city, I walked into the wrong training facility and was greeted by a friendly person in a thick gi (Japanese training uniform). His name is Jon, he said, and he advised me that this was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and not Thai Boxing. He said I was welcome to sit an watch so I did and Oh My God was I blown away. It looked so much fun. On the mat I could see big and small, guys & girls, young and old. Rolling, sweating and having fun. Jiu Jitsu is for everyone. I fell in love with BJJ and completely forgot all about Thai Boxing.
Many years and multiple black belts down the line, I can tell you that I was not unique. I quickly realised that the majority of martial arts practitioners around the world are hobbyist who come in all shapes and sizes. On the mat you will find lawyers, policemen, nurses and electricians. You will find the athletes and the students with tons of free time and amazing recovery, but they are not the majority. We are. We are the Part Time Grapplers.