Words: Emilia Tuukkanen || Illustration: Dominique Bell
1. You will learn a lot of new things your body can do, such as being able to breathe even if a 100kg guy is knee-on-the-bellying you.
2. You will also learn that your legs are a lot more flexible than you thought. You will learn this most likely very suddenly without a warning while slipping in a puddle of sweat while trying to pass guard standing up.
3. You will never question the stories about mothers lifting cars to free their babies ever again after bench-pressing a huge meathead away from side-control after having a panic-attack from not having any blood-circulation.
4. You will be amazed about how many bruises can appear after 1 hour of training. And also from the fact that there is any blood left in your veins when you have more bruise-covered skin than not-bruised.
5. You will very quickly get over your germophobia after being covered more in other people’s sweat and suspicious body hair than your own. Even quicker after having drops of sweat go straight into your mouth.
6. You can say goodbye to the struggle of not knowing what to do with all the extra money you have laying around. Training fees, gear and competition trips will take care of that for you.
7. You will forget what your home looked like before every possible surface was covered in drying gi’s and hanging belts. But that just means you don’t have to bother cleaning up really because it would make no visible difference in the feng shui of your home. Also the difference of “clean” and “dirty” will become a bit blurry and the best indicator for that is the face of your training partner.
8. You realize there is no justice in the world after your first competition experience in the open class. But, you might get a crash-course of all phases 1-5 in this article at once though.
9. The limits of your brain capacity will become very real when you try to remember all the names of the techniques as well as how to actually do them. It took me a year to remember what kimura was and I still can’t show if asked how to do the darce choke or gokoplata (if it’s even written like that). And of course there are new techniques coming everyday just so you don’t accidentally get the feeling you might know something of jiu jitsu.
10. You will feel better both physically and mentally, make new life-long friends, visit places and countries you would never have visited without jiu jitsu, get healthier, learn to defend yourself and become a part of global jiu jitsu community.