I think most, if not all of us walk around with a little doubt as to whether or not we are the right “fit” for jiu jitsu. We watch video clips of amazing competitors and their fantastic submissions, we see images of top level competitors on our social media feeds- there is enough content out there to make us second guess if we are actually a right fit for the sport. This can also come up in more direct ways- going over a technique in class that maybe you just don’t feel you are the right fit for in terms of body type. Your arms and legs are too long/short, you’re not flexible enough, so one and so forth.
We know that (for most of us) we need jiu jitsu: it makes us feel good, it engages us, it creates a family and a sense of camaraderie- it pushes us, takes us out of our comfort zone and usually as a result we are the better for it.
But believe it or not, jiu jitsu needs you too. Yes, you. You, with the short little arms and legs. You, the Master 5 heavy weight. You, the white belt that may be 110 pounds after a large meal. Jiu jitsu needs people of different sizes, heights, abilities. And not just because teachers need their mats filled with students sort of need- when you think about it, the inclusion of so many people with so many body types going against one another could be one of the one of the things that promotes evolution in the sport. Someone comes up with a technique that works best for them because as someone with a particular body going against someone else who can or cannot do something, and so they begin to use it, and then it becomes popular among the rest of the community.
I always like to say jiu jitsu is for every body, but not for everybody, and I still definitely believe that. It’s a sport that has more to do with grit, ingenuity, and creative problem solving then being a certain age, height or weight or having a certain range of abilities. And more importantly, it’s a sport/martial art that needs that sort of variety to keep it going, to keep evolving as time goes on. So keep in mind even though you may wonder if you are the right “fit” for the sport, make no mistake- jiu jitsu needs you.
Just some food for thought- have a great day everyone!