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View Full Version : Why did you get started/what keeps you at it?



45dotACP
01-25-2021, 07:17 PM
Be interested to hear what got all you fellow unarmed combatives guys into it. Did you come to it from the firearms hobby or did you come to the firearms hobby from your interest in martial arts?

Personally, I've always been doing the shooting thing. But martial arts...or at least a real enjoyment of them...didn't begin until I was probably 24 or 25. I had done the karate classes at the YMCA and such and kinda figured I was tough enough compared to these other nerds and I'd be a real badass in a fight. That adrenaline would give me superior reflexes and power and I would just knee a dude in the head if he tried to take me down so that solves that...yeah I was that guy.

Anyways, I decided after watching a video of a nurse getting the shit kicked out of them, that maybe I might want to learn something that wasn't a middle block followed by a chambered front snap kick. It just didn't seem like the correct response to an amped up tweaker throwing haymaker after haymaker, and I'd never really done any full contact training. So I went to a place where I could find some full contact training. The local MMA gym. As I started sparring I quickly realized I didn't know the slightest thing about how to fight. My martial arts training up until that point was completely ineffective for almost everything related to trying to not get knocked out. And when I got taken down...well I realized that it was actually not that easy to defend a takedown. So I tried studying how to beat takedowns,wrestling, and BJJ. As it turns out that's...uh...a long process and involves several ass whoopings. My ego was bruised and once I submitted some random guy by just barely taking his back and applying a rear naked choke, I thought "OK, I'm probably better than most guys now and I can stop." and I stopped training. Other things, like nursing school clinicals also sort of got in the way and I was tired of continuously getting my ass beat.

Yes, I have been struggling with being that guy for a while. Eventually...I don't know if it was wisdom or age or what...but I realized that the reason I kept getting beat wasn't because the other guys were better (they were) but it was because they trained more. They kept showing up, they kept learning, they kept sparring. Something clicked in my mind and while I still can't say I make every class and seminar all the time, I definitely train more now than I did then. Add to that a friend who trains at the same gym offering to let me come to his home and train with him in his basement and I can quite comfortably say that I've become an enthusiast of BJJ and to a lesser extent, MMA.

Sorry, long post. Tl;Dr I did not always enjoy martial arts, until something clicked and now I do.

blues
01-25-2021, 09:04 PM
I'm no longer involved, but when I was on a regular basis, (back in the middle and late 70's), there was a twofold reason...

I couldn't mind my own business when I saw women, (and even a few men), preyed upon in the street by men who beat them...and when a young woman I had recently broken up with was savagely mugged and beaten in Brooklyn, it only reinforced my resolve at the time. (And led to my applying for positions in law enforcement, and subsequent career.)

I fought competitively at the inter-dojo level, at AAU matches, and later at the state championship...but at a low rating. Unfortunately, I failed to keep up with it after a short time.

45dotACP
01-25-2021, 09:45 PM
I'm no longer involved, but when I was on a regular basis, (back in the middle and late 70's), there was a twofold reason...

I couldn't mind my own business when I saw women, (and even a few men), preyed upon in the street by men who beat them...and when a young woman I had recently broken up with was savagely mugged and beaten in Brooklyn, it only reinforced my resolve at the time. (And led to my applying for positions in law enforcement, and subsequent career.)

I fought competitively at the inter-dojo level, at AAU matches, and later at the state championship...but at a low rating. Unfortunately, I failed to keep up with it after a short time.I'm kinda jealous. Karate back in the 70s was certainly a different animal than what I learned as a kid.

I hope that it doesn't go that way too far for BJJ.

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Les Pepperoni
01-27-2021, 10:57 AM
Be interested to hear what got all you fellow unarmed combatives guys into it. Did you come to it from the firearms hobby or did you come to the firearms hobby from your interest in martial arts?

I've got the dumbest answer ever:

So Paul opened SBG Illinois and I figured I'd throw some bread in his jar and try his "Karate" class for a few months. I was ~250, 39 and just knew from all these stupid forums that BJJ should be something that I get into and do... I remember my first class: No punching? No kicking? WTF kinda karate is this? Then we learned "mount" and I was like "GAAAAAYYYY!".

I remember, tho, being tired after trying to not get crushed by Paul and needed some answers. I was just too stupid to stop paying and having too much fun, then I got hooked.

What keeps me going isn't that I have this "work ethic", it is more, I just get in the habit of doing something and it becomes what I do because that's the time to do it. Even things that I don't like doing. I'm really too stupid to quit...

I liken it to learning to shoot - before I was 29, I never really shot at all - I just figured that if you want to do something, then do that thing and you'll start to figure that shit out...

45dotACP
01-27-2021, 08:30 PM
Certainly not a dumb answer Les Pepperoni

The ol "being too dumb to stop paying for classes and therefore I have to go or I lose that investment" ploy has probably turned out more than its share of badasses.

Financially conscientious badasses. But badasses nonetheless. Like Dave Ramsey with nunchucks.

Especially because after a bit, BJJ stopped being "something you have to do" and became "Something you really like to do"

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Cecil Burch
01-28-2021, 10:51 AM
I'm really too stupid to quit...





That is literally my operating system and has been for 42 years of training.

Clusterfrack
01-28-2021, 11:21 AM
Quick summary: 1) My parents raised me with a ďnever be a victimĒ mentality. 2) I got started in martial arts after a high school thug threatened me with a screwdriver. 3) I like learning how to do new things with my body. 4) Being injured has become normal... many broken ribs, shoulder, neck, random injuries, always covered with bruises, etc. 5) Getting old sucks, and staying in the fight helps me feel young.

FrankinCA
01-28-2021, 05:00 PM
Lived in Los Angeles..violence here is random and sudden

I have had friends and family victimized.

Les Pepperoni
01-28-2021, 08:48 PM
That is literally my operating system and has been for 42 years of training.

So... What you're saying is there is hope for me yet?

Cecil Burch
01-29-2021, 02:01 PM
So... What you're saying is there is hope for me yet?

Letís not get crazy now........:D

ford.304
01-29-2021, 03:54 PM
I started reading about self defense online just because I was a nerd and it sounded interesting. This lead to buying a gun, getting my CCW, reading more... and realizing I still knew practically nothing.

So I started reading ToddG's website. Which led to my showing up at Paul-e-Palooza 2. And after taking sessions with Paul Sharp and Cecil Burch I started thinking "maybe I *should* learn some martial arts." So I asked them, "what should I train?" and everyone said "BJJ."

Almost exactly five years ago I showed up to a local BJJ school. I was such an idiot -- I literally picked up and slammed the first guy I rolled with -- he arm-barred me almost immediately after, of course. But I was hooked.

Honestly, I've barely been to the range since then. I still love shooting, but it's tough to carve time out of parenting & work for it, whereas I can show up to the gym every morning and work on choking people. I've trained 5 days a week since except for when I've been sick or injured. With covid going on, we put mats in a buddy's basement and we beat the crap out of each other every day. Maybe someday I'll actually be good at it. But I've never found anything with the same level of constant challenge and variety... of intellectual depth mixed with physical exertion.

At this point I'm doing it for the love of the art. I like to think that I'm *also* doing something useful from a self-defense standpoint (we do get out gloves occasionally to pressure test that, as well as working wrestling and standup regularly), but I'll be honest and say it isn't the primary reason. I just want to understand more and get better... and then maybe someday help other people do the same thing.

45dotACP
01-29-2021, 07:14 PM
I started reading about self defense online just because I was a nerd and it sounded interesting. This lead to buying a gun, getting my CCW, reading more... and realizing I still knew practically nothing.

So I started reading ToddG's website. Which led to my showing up at Paul-e-Palooza 2. And after taking sessions with Paul Sharp and Cecil Burch I started thinking "maybe I *should* learn some martial arts." So I asked them, "what should I train?" and everyone said "BJJ."

Almost exactly five years ago I showed up to a local BJJ school. I was such an idiot -- I literally picked up and slammed the first guy I rolled with -- he arm-barred me almost immediately after, of course. But I was hooked.

Honestly, I've barely been to the range since then. I still love shooting, but it's tough to carve time out of parenting & work for it, whereas I can show up to the gym every morning and work on choking people. I've trained 5 days a week since except for when I've been sick or injured. With covid going on, we put mats in a buddy's basement and we beat the crap out of each other every day. Maybe someday I'll actually be good at it. But I've never found anything with the same level of constant challenge and variety... of intellectual depth mixed with physical exertion.

At this point I'm doing it for the love of the art. I like to think that I'm *also* doing something useful from a self-defense standpoint (we do get out gloves occasionally to pressure test that, as well as working wrestling and standup regularly), but I'll be honest and say it isn't the primary reason. I just want to understand more and get better... and then maybe someday help other people do the same thing.Training with my friend in his basement has been a.) One of the primary drivers in my skill development over the last year or so.
And b.) One of the few things that kept me sane during the pandemic, lockdown, and subsequent ammo shortage

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EPF
01-31-2021, 06:56 PM
Whenever the new guys at the gym ask me why I train I always say:

ďIím just here for the humiliationĒ 😀

Itís just a dumb quip, but it says something about what I get out of training that I canít otherwise explain. Something about what keeps me coming back for the daily grind.

Iíve never found another daily practice that leaves me feeling centered, accomplished, and humbled the way bjj does.

Iíve only been at this for five years and I am nothing special on the mat, but I honestly canít imagine life without training at this point. Itís my ďchurchĒ. Iím an addict and Iíll show up every day until my body wonít let me anymore.

Les Pepperoni
02-01-2021, 01:01 PM
Whenever the new guys at the gym ask me why I train I always say:

ďIím just here for the humiliationĒ 😀

Itís just a dumb quip, but it says something about what I get out of training that I canít otherwise explain. Something about what keeps me coming back for the daily grind.

Iíve never found another daily practice that leaves me feeling centered, accomplished, and humbled the way bjj does.

Iíve only been at this for five years and I am nothing special on the mat, but I honestly canít imagine life without training at this point. Itís my ďchurchĒ. Iím an addict and Iíll show up every day until my body wonít let me anymore.


So... I'm at a new startup... Lotta late hours, since I want to spend time with my kiddo (she's the best thing that's ever happened to me) and not be a "rat race dipshit", and I've been trying to get her to the kids classes, then stay after for the no-gi (dislike very much) classes and rolls just so I can keep going 2xWeek...

New white belt is wild, big dude, strong and he's always trying smash me, etc... I just chill, as tired as I am, and work on side-control/mount escapes over and over...
Finally he asked how long I've been coming here and I said a few years. He asked why I sucked... :confused: since I'm never trying to attack him.

I said something to the effect of "I'm an arthritic 43 year old and I'm just trying to work on a few things with the limited time I've got"... then he says "Wow - you don't look old AF..."

So... I triangled him, then sunk a nasty head/arm choke.

Yeah... I don't mind being humiliated on the mats and work on things. I do mind being called Old AF and told I apparently suck...

blues
02-01-2021, 02:29 PM
Yeah... I don't mind being humiliated on the mats and work on things. I do mind being called Old AF and told I apparently suck...

That attitude will take you a long way.

(And I bet your daughter loves it. Kudos to you. :cool:)

EPF
02-01-2021, 03:10 PM
So... I'm at a new startup... Lotta late hours, since I want to spend time with my kiddo (she's the best thing that's ever happened to me) and not be a "rat race dipshit", and I've been trying to get her to the kids classes, then stay after for the no-gi (dislike very much) classes and rolls just so I can keep going 2xWeek...

New white belt is wild, big dude, strong and he's always trying smash me, etc... I just chill, as tired as I am, and work on side-control/mount escapes over and over...
Finally he asked how long I've been coming here and I said a few years. He asked why I sucked... :confused: since I'm never trying to attack him.

I said something to the effect of "I'm an arthritic 43 year old and I'm just trying to work on a few things with the limited time I've got"... then he says "Wow - you don't look old AF..."

So... I triangled him, then sunk a nasty head/arm choke.

Yeah... I don't mind being humiliated on the mats and work on things. I do mind being called Old AF and told I apparently suck...


Well the good news is that you arenít getting younger and new guys will always do their best to remind you that Dunning and Kruger are right 🙂

Itís cool that you still keep going when you can even though times are tough. Both of my daughters (13, 10) love bjj as much as I do and are legit savages.

So kudos to you dad!

45dotACP
02-01-2021, 03:38 PM
So... I'm at a new startup... Lotta late hours, since I want to spend time with my kiddo (she's the best thing that's ever happened to me) and not be a "rat race dipshit", and I've been trying to get her to the kids classes, then stay after for the no-gi (dislike very much) classes and rolls just so I can keep going 2xWeek...

New white belt is wild, big dude, strong and he's always trying smash me, etc... I just chill, as tired as I am, and work on side-control/mount escapes over and over...
Finally he asked how long I've been coming here and I said a few years. He asked why I sucked... :confused: since I'm never trying to attack him.

I said something to the effect of "I'm an arthritic 43 year old and I'm just trying to work on a few things with the limited time I've got"... then he says "Wow - you don't look old AF..."

So... I triangled him, then sunk a nasty head/arm choke.

Yeah... I don't mind being humiliated on the mats and work on things. I do mind being called Old AF and told I apparently suck...

To be fair...you don't look old AF ;)

Jits keeps you young. The guy I train with is 54 and he catches me in stuff all the time. He's got terrific strength, balance and a killer passing game. Also, he was a GG boxer, so when I do go to striking class with him, he's always got sharp, crisp punches for my face.

You don't stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing.

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Les Pepperoni
02-01-2021, 03:43 PM
You don't stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing.


I wish I could like that x100.

Cory
02-02-2021, 07:39 AM
I said something to the effect of "I'm an arthritic 43 year old and I'm just trying to work on a few things with the limited time I've got"... then he says "Wow - you don't look old AF..."

So... I triangled him, then sunk a nasty head/arm choke.

Yeah... I don't mind being humiliated on the mats and work on things. I do mind being called Old AF and told I apparently suck...

It's definitely difficult to remember you're in your 40s. You're fucking huge, strong, and skilled. Plus you maintain a youthful humor most of the time.

I certainly never thought about your age when I was getting my ass kicked by you.

ford.304
02-02-2021, 10:40 AM
BJJ has honestly changed my views on aging. I never had older men who were still fit as role models before. My image of a dude in his mid-forties has a beer gut and can maybe still hit a 3-pointer or walk the golf course, but he's pretty far over the hill. Getting my ass kicked every day by lean dudes with grey in their hair has given me something better to aim for. Which is especially important as I'm coming up on the wrong side of my thirties myself.

Les Pepperoni
02-03-2021, 05:24 PM
It's definitely difficult to remember you're in your 40s. You're fucking huge, strong, and skilled. Plus you maintain a youthful humor most of the time.

I certainly never thought about your age when I was getting my ass kicked by you.

Lol - are you calling me old?!?

Cory
02-03-2021, 06:04 PM
Lol - are you calling me old?!?

Soonô lol