Do new people actually exist in BJJ?

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I don't know that there's ever been an actual new person in my BJJ class. Starting with me, and then most of the ones I remember:
  • Me, black belt in Hapkido (and 3 years in wrestling as a kid) before I started BJJ.
  • Some guy who "took a few open mats" but moves like he's got a few stripes
  • A guy with a year in Judo
  • A superheavyweight teenager who just got done with high school wrestling
  • Someone new to the gym...but he's a black belt and MMA fighter
  • Someone new to the gym...but she's a purple belt
  • A soldier who's trained in Combatives and actively working on PT
Do actual new people exist in BJJ?
 

Tony Dismukes

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BJJ does seem to have a higher percentage of people who come in with prior martial arts or athletic background compared to most martial arts, in my experience. But there are also plenty of people who come in with no previous experience. You'll meet them as you go along.

(There's also the attrition factor - due to the contact and the live rolling, new students with no experience in martial arts or contact sports are more likely to quit in short order.)
 
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I wonder if that plays into the reputation BJJ has on reddit, that it's a first-class art and most other arts are second-rate.
 

jmf552

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The school I studied BJJ at had a huge kids program that was very well done, especially since the owner was a sixth grade teacher. I think pretty much all of those kids were new to martial arts. Plus, a lot of their parents got into the adult classes, inspired by their kids. I think most of them were newbies. So in 5-10 years, there is going to be a whole crop of martial artists who only ever studied BJJ.
 
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There are tons of new kids in the kids class. But no new adults in my class.
 

Darren

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I don't know that there's ever been an actual new person in my BJJ class. Starting with me, and then most of the ones I remember:
  • Me, black belt in Hapkido (and 3 years in wrestling as a kid) before I started BJJ.
  • Some guy who "took a few open mats" but moves like he's got a few stripes
  • A guy with a year in Judo
  • A superheavyweight teenager who just got done with high school wrestling
  • Someone new to the gym...but he's a black belt and MMA fighter
  • Someone new to the gym...but she's a purple belt
  • A soldier who's trained in Combatives and actively working on PT
Do actual new people exist in BJJ?
I take kenpo class then after that take BJJ I would say I am new, of course took kenpo 28 years ago have been back at it for one year and a couple of months. Have been taking BJJ for 2-3 months I believe, then got pneumonia, Covid, and acute lung infection had my medication uped due to trigeminal neuropathy(TN) google suicide disease after 2 months of recovery got back in the gym 3 weeks ago, showing progress through was able to workout 2.5 hours yesterday, dont know if I have to get use the medication or worked out to hard but my blood work was fine and doctor said I was great physically and I have not had a heart attack yet, so progress is being made!!!! Just have to get back to form!!!!!!
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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That's more due to the echo chamber effect; UFC fanboyism; and the fact that a lot of folks on those subs don't actually train anything.
Based on this thread, 655 of the respondents are actively training, while 470 either aren't training, aren't currently training (very vague what a hiatus is), or 'self-train' which to me counts as "aren't training". So almost half the people on there actually don't/aren't training.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Based on this thread, 655 of the respondents are actively training, while 470 either aren't training, aren't currently training (very vague what a hiatus is), or 'self-train' which to me counts as "aren't training". So almost half the people on there actually don't/aren't training.
Side note: There was a similar one on r/nba recently that I'm having trouble finding. About half the people on that sub say they don't have the attention span to watch basketball, so they'll either look up 15 minute highlights and base their opinions on those, or read through the box scores after games to come up with their decisions.

It's a good reminder that you don't actually know anything about the people you argue with online. Especially somewhere anonymous and really popular like reddit.
 
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It's a good reminder that you don't actually know anything about the people you argue with online. Especially somewhere anonymous and really popular like reddit.
I know that the mods of r/bjj (at least try to) vet people before letting them put the black belt tag by their name. I could easily say I'm a 4-stripe brown belt, though. And I don't know what their process of verifying a black belt is, but that might be possible to social engineer as well.
 

Darren

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I know that the mods of r/bjj (at least try to) vet people before letting them put the black belt tag by their name. I could easily say I'm a 4-stripe brown belt, though. And I don't know what their process of verifying a black belt is, but that might be possible to social engineer as well.
I checked it out and you can buy black belts on line! Just damn shameful!!!!!
 

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I hold a few black belts in different disciplines as well as a few stripes on white in BJJ. When I first started, I trained with a few new people with 0 martial art experience, many of whom were really passionate (wanting to compete, kissing butt to the head coach etc.) Eventually, they began to vanish, and even though I had to stop due to moving and family obligations after 7 months of continuous training three to four times per week, I was ultimately the last of the group I had started with. Some of the folks I know left early after 1 stripe or no stripe because I could sense they were growing tired and irritated with constantly being submitted, or the reality hit them that it would take a LONG time to progress in rank in this art. I believe I had the advantage because I could have cared less for the rank due to holding bets on other styles. Like Chewjitsu said on one of his episodes, BJJ is like watching about of baby born turtles running to ocean (only a few make it)
 
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jmf552

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I hold a few black belts in different disciplines as well as a few stripes on white in BJJ. When I first started, I trained with a few new people with 0 martial art experience, many of whom were really passionate (wanting to compete, kissing butt to the head coach etc.) Eventually, they began to vanish, and even though I had to stop due to moving and family obligations after 7 months of continuous training three to four times per week, I was ultimately the last of the group I had started with. Some of the folks I know left early after 1 stripe or no stripe because I could sense they were growing tired and irritated with constantly being submitted, or the reality hit them that it would take a LONG time to progress in rank in this art. I believe I had the advantage because I could have cared less for the rank due to holding bets on other styles. Like Chewjitsu said on one of his episodes, BJJ is like watching about of baby born turtles running to ocean (only a few make it)
I have a 3rd Degree black belt in Japanese Shi-to-Ryu Karate' and I have studied several other arts. I quit BJJ after a year because I had to have a knee replacement and I will probably go back to it, but I am not so hard on people who quit out of frustration. I didn't mind being submitted and I knew it would take a while to learn the art, but I have to say it was the most confusing art to learn I have ever encountered and I wrestled in high school and I got a couple of lower belts in Judo, so I have a bit of a reference for grappling. It's like learning to play chess, but you don't know what the rules are. I am more oriented toward "They show you X, you practice X, you get some expertise in X and then you move onto Y and come back to perfect X later." I felt like we were learning the whole alphabet in random order!
 

Tony Dismukes

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I have a 3rd Degree black belt in Japanese Shi-to-Ryu Karate' and I have studied several other arts. I quit BJJ after a year because I had to have a knee replacement and I will probably go back to it, but I am not so hard on people who quit out of frustration. I didn't mind being submitted and I knew it would take a while to learn the art, but I have to say it was the most confusing art to learn I have ever encountered and I wrestled in high school and I got a couple of lower belts in Judo, so I have a bit of a reference for grappling. It's like learning to play chess, but you don't know what the rules are. I am more oriented toward "They show you X, you practice X, you get some expertise in X and then you move onto Y and come back to perfect X later." I felt like we were learning the whole alphabet in random order!
This is because unfortunately a lot of BJJ instructors dont know how to teach an organized progressive curriculum.

In my classes I make an effort to make sure all my students understand how the different parts of the art work together, reinforce each other, and are built on common principles. I also try to make sure my students have a handle on the fundamentals before introducing the more esoteric and specialized moves. But there are schools where you will just get a random selection each day from the vast arsenal of BJJ techniques and you just have to stick around long enough for the puzzle pieces to start fitting together.
 
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This is because unfortunately a lot of BJJ instructors dont know how to teach an organized progressive curriculum.

In my classes I make an effort to make sure all my students understand how the different parts of the art work together, reinforce each other, and are built on common principles. I also try to make sure my students have a handle on the fundamentals before introducing the more esoteric and specialized moves. But there are schools where you will just get a random selection each day from the vast arsenal of BJJ techniques and you just have to stick around long enough for the puzzle pieces to start fitting together.
I love my professor. With that said, he does this, and I hate it.

It's the opposite problem I had in Taekwondo, where there was a very strict curriculum...that you just kept memorizing more and more of every belt.

I wish both would have had my Master's beginner plan and my Professor's advanced plan.
 
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Good news, someone new at the school today!

Bad news, by "new", I mean new to us, because he's a brown belt.

Sigh.........
 

R5ky

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It's like learning to play chess, but you don't know what the rules are. I am more oriented toward "They show you X, you practice X, you get some expertise in X and then you move onto Y and come back to perfect X later." I felt like we were learning the whole alphabet in random order!
It's quite fun and addictive! However, putting that aside, and thinking about the new people I described in the last paragraph, I can easily tell by their facial expressions that JJ was becoming not "fun" for them really quick.
 

jmf552

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It's quite fun and addictive! However, putting that aside, and thinking about the new people I described in the last paragraph, I can easily tell by their facial expressions that JJ was becoming not "fun" for them really quick.
I think there is a certain personality who finds BJJ fun and addictive and others who do not. Where I studied BJJ, they also taught Muay Thai and it was very intense. Almost every one on both sides tried a few classes on the other side at some point, but there weren't too many people who really got into both equally long term. I really liked Muay Thai, I couldn't get enough of it. People tended to like one or the other.

It's really a shame, because I thought that from a martial perspective, the two arts dovetailed nicely. My school was big into Muay Thai clinch fighting, which in a real fight would be a great setup for a throw, and also takedowns using sweeps and kick catches. In a real fight, you'd just go right down on top of the opponent and go into BJJ mode.
 
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