Newbie questions about getting started

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by AdamL, May 6, 2008.

  1. AdamL

    AdamL Green Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,298
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I recently joined a local training club that has a mix of all sorts of activities. Boxing, kick boxing, submission wrestling, and a few others. I looked in the stickies for some information, but it all seems to be based on having at least some knowledge of grappling in one form or another. I am 110% new to any sort of grappling (wrestling, BJJ, whatever.) After boxing and focus mitts last night, I sat and watched the submission wrestling to get an idea of what to expect. It was intimidating purely from the angle that I had no clue what they were doing about... 95% of the time. Keep in mind the class is open for everyone with no restrictions at all (meaning anyone can start regardless of training or knowledge.)

    The instructor started off telling people to warm up by doing some move, and everyone lines up against a wall and start wriggling across the mat. I have no idea what it was nor why they were doing it. They then started to practice some other stuff where people were practicing some north/south positioning, and then some side control moves. (If you are saying, "hey he knew about north/south he can't be that new" it's only because I've paid attention to color commentators and recognized it.)

    Now, since I've never even attempted any grappling at all, I felt so out of my environment that I'm not sure if I should try the class. I feel like I'd be a burden to anyone I was partnered with since I'm so clueless, and I think the instructor would have to spend an inordinate amount of time pointing out that I was doing everything wrong, and having to explain even the most rudimentary fundamentals with me. So, with that in mind, the questions:

    1) Is this normal? Meaning, is it typical that newbies join a class that have zero experience in any grappling? (It seemed everyone in the class knew more or less what they were doing.)
    2) I read the thread where everyone was stating the people they disliked rolling with, and I could easily see myself being lumped into several of these categories merely from inexperience. Again, would I be better off just not starting? I certainly don't want to detract from anyone's training.
    3) I have long hair. I mean REALLY long hair. A good 2 feet or more. I have no intention of cutting it to train submission wrestling. This is a long shot, but does anyone reading this have long hair, and what the hell do you do with it? Or, barring nobody having long hair, have you trained with someone who did, and what did they do with it?

    Also, any newbie advice you have would be fantastic. I'd really like to give it a shot, but am apprehensive about being "that guy" people don't want to train with. I can always stick to the other classes they offer rather than go there. :icon_chee
     
  2. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Artemis BJJ Co-Founder

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Perfectly normal: everyone has to start somewhere. You simply need to stick with it. To use a cliche, "a black belt is just a white belt who never gave up."

    Again, everyone has to start somewhere. As you get more experience, you'll fall into less of the pitfalls associated with beginning a new activity.

    One of my regular training partners is in a band, and also has very long hair. He generally tries tucking it into the back of his gi, or using his headguard to try and contain it: always falls out, so he's got used to losing hair. Personally, I'd advise either cutting it, braiding it, or expect to have chunks unintentionally ripped out during training.
     
  3. Mohawk79

    Mohawk79 Orange Belt

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    I would definitely cut your hair if you are going to do this for real. Like slideyfoot says, it's just gonna constantly be pulled out. Oh yeah, don't be so nervous about starting something new, we all sucked when we started too.
     
  4. txfighter13

    txfighter13 Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    Look at the head instructor, the staff and how many people train there. Look at the credentials of all three of those groups.
     
  5. AdamL

    AdamL Green Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,298
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    What do you mean "do this for real"? I'm not planning on competing in submission wrestling tournaments if that's what you mean. It's more for exercise and just knowledge of how to operate on the ground.

    I think what I'll try to do is get my fiancee to braid the holy crap out of my hair and tuck it under some headgear and clamp down on it like a vice. Hopefully that'll hold it in place. I can't part with my hair! :p

    Thanks for the encouragement also. Just wanted to gauge how others who have been doing this a while would react to some utter newbie showing up to their class.
     
  6. maker

    maker White Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate it when my rolling partner has really long hair untied, because I can't do collar chokes with out pulling their hair off.
     
  7. djsoma

    djsoma Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yankee Fan in the Red Sox Hellhole
    its totally normal, I started back in september having no idea what I was doing- you will come a long way quick. The wriggling across the mat was most likely elbow escapes (a common move you will need to learn, the drill helps develop the muscles you need to do it.)
     
  8. STFUjiujitsu

    STFUjiujitsu Blue Belt

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Just remember to tap. You'll most likely be doing a lot of it at first, after a couple months everything will fall into place and on your first step away from suck.
     
  9. exile27

    exile27 Guest

    The gym I'm going to just opened up like two months ago, so it seems like we get new guys comming to every class. It's really no big deal. Usually they'll just take the new guys off to the side for the first 30 minutes and have an instructor show them the basics.

    I myself just started training 3 weeks ago, and I have learned a ton in just that short amount of time. And when rolling most of the guys are extremely cool, even if they've been doing it a lot longer than you have. So don't worry about it.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.