BJJ for complete Wimps !!

OK guys, I really need some advice here. I've wanted to learn some BJJ for quite a while. I'm definitely not an aspiring competitor, and just thought it would be interesting to learn a bit of BJJ and maybe improve my fitness and have a bit of fun along the way. Also I'm pretty small and kind of a wimp, and work all day in a busy office. Anyway as luck would have it the town I'm currently living in has a couple of BJJ clubs. So I checked out 1 club, but everyone there was into no-gi competition and some of them were professional kickboxers etc, and people wanting to compete in professional MMA competitions, definitely not the sort of place I should be messing with. I checked out another place, and the instructor and the other students seemed friendlier although a lot of them were into competing mostly on an amateur basis and mostly more traditional BJJ competitions.

Not having much other choice I started training there, at first most people took it pretty easy since I had just started, and I enjoyed learning the techniques and doing some light rolling. But after a couple of months, a few of them decided I'd had it easy long enough and decided to go pretty full on during most of the drills and rolling. Since some of them are a lot heavier and a lot more skilled than me, and I ended up kind of bruised and battered. I didn't say anything, but maybe my facial expression caused some of them to give me a variation of a speech I heard years before while training at a judo club with lots of competitors. In other words "you learn BJJ by getting tapped", "if I take it easy on you I'm not doing you any favors", "you need to get used to this if you want to win in competition or on the street", "i'm not being tough on you ... just realistic".

Now there maybe some truth in what they are saying, and if you want to compete and win then maybe a certain amount of agression is need during training. But for me, I just work in an office, am not that young or athletic, and want to learn a bit of BJJ for fun and to get a bit of exercise after busting my ass all day at work. I don't want to compete, I don't expect to ever be able to kickass in a street fight, in fact I don't even have an expectation of gaining any belt-rank in jiu-jitsu.

So anyway now I feel demoralised and have lost any interest in training. Fortunately I haven't lost any money, as I was only paying a per lesson charge.

My question is this, and I promise you guys this is not a troll, is there a place for wimps to learn a bit of BJJ? Are all BJJ clubs full of competitors, aspiring professional MMA fighters, bouncers etc? Should I keep looking around or just forget about BJJ as the role of BJJ training is to weed out the pussies ?

The other thing I was thinking about is looking around and see if I can find an instructor or knowledgeable student who is willing to teach me some BJJ with a less tough style more oriented to what I'm interested in. What do you think?

What is the going rate for privates? I don't necessarily need to learn from a black-belt, in fact a good blue-belt could teach me plenty. So what do you think I should be prepared to pay if I want private lessons from a blue-belt compared to a black-belt?

Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate any advice you can give me. I thought I could get something out of BJJ, but maybe the truth is, I'm just not cut out for this sort of thing.

This thread is going to be fun :) ...

I think you're looking for Japanese Jiu Jitsu - they don't even spar.

If you can't accept being crushed, BJJ might not be for you. Not everyone can handle it, it's just a fact. You kind of have to develop the skill of not minding getting crushed.

However, if you DO continue training BJJ, you can be proud of yourself because you took the beatings and the bruices and you still DIDN'T GIVE UP. It means that you're not a quitter.

Have a nice day, m'am.


same answer as jonpall

every place with BJJ that does sparring is going to be full on session. It's to make you strong and make you tough.

If you want something light go learn yoga or tai chi. BJJ is for the streets and no rules fighting, you may not like it but stick at it and in a year you'll see newbie comes and go and give there asses a kicking

a cool gym culture is where the training is for everyBODY...from 8 to 80.

no denying the physical side, however I truly do believe the intensity can be dialed down(or up) to suit everyBODY.

check for an SBG facility in your area or privates may be the route to go...

Some tough guys are born, some are made.  I come from the school of thought that BJJ is for everyone, not just the naturally tough guys.  The key is to find the right gym, the right group of people that are interested in your benefit as well as their own.  I have seen a lot of smaller, non-athletic guys get AWESOME at jiu-jitsu, simply because they had partners who were willing to slow down the game, to push them to the edge of their comfort zone, but no farther, for a long time.  If those partners just smashed them every practice, they would definitely have quit because of a lack of confidence, clausterphobia, or just not ever having fun.  But with the help and patience of their training partners, they never quit, and are now really tough guys that give people hell in the gym and do well in competition.  The investment that their partners made in them has paid off.

Definitely talk to your instructor about how you're feeling, and see what his advice is.  If he is interested in seeing you through this difficult time, stay with him and you won't be sorry.  Private lessons are also a great idea, your instructor can help you get comfortable in bad positions, with progressive resistance, and help you feel like you are not so far in over your head in group training.  Good luck and don't quit!  Jiu-jitsu is the best.


There are definitly a lot of different kinds of places and they all have variying degrees of toughness. There's probably some place that's full of people just like you; don't be discouraged. BJJ is as tough as the two guys who are rolling make it. Of course, I don't know what you consider tough. This is after all a martial art, and there is no way you are getting out of it bruise free.

Also remember that you are going to get used to it. Every time you roll you are getting mentally and physically tougher, and in a few months you'll not even think about things that bother you now.

You have to remember that the toughness in training is what will make you stronger mentally. In a gym, there will be plenty of people. Some just want to have fun and work out, like yourself, and others are into the competitions. Just because a school is mixed with people with different goals, it does not mean the two groups can't hang out together.

From reading your post, it sounds like you have a low opinion of yourself when it comes to training. You say you're a wimp because you work in an office all day. Well, so do I, and I'm sure a lot of people that post on here do as well. BJJ people come from all different walks of life, and are not just athletes or MMA fighters. I'm not the biggest guy in the world, but that won't stop me from training. How much do you weigh by the way?

You also say you don't expect to ever get a rank in BJJ. Don't think like that. You should get a rank if you train hard and put in the hours! You should strive to improve and be the best you can.

What I'm trying to say is martial arts is meant to change you. Its character building. Don't be so down on yourself. It sounds like you want to find a corner and learn BJJ away from everyone else. Its good to spend some time learning techniques at your own pace, but its also good to meet others and try things out.

If you don't care about belts, do privates, should be a blue belt that will work with you for cheap. Nothing wrong with having fun and getting in shape.

what ur looking for is called traditional or japanese jujitsu. as mentioned before, no sparring until black belt, and its all techniques, shitty ones at that.

the key part of bjj is the wrestling with resistance, and im not sure the female class or kids class would be too happy to see u there

You should roll, but with people who are of the same mind as you or of a much higher level.  Most purple+ wont go to town on a newbie.  Or you could just buy some videos and "train" at home.  Good luck and I hope you find somewhere/something that works out for you.

YES, there are places that train the way you want to train, but you may have to do a lot of research to find them, or you may have to start the club yourself.

Bottom line here, you are an adult, you dictate how you want to train...PERIOD, don't let anybody try to shame you into something you don't want to do.

That being said, i will agree like most here, training will make you tougher, you will get more used to being in uncomfortable situations, you just get conditioned to it. Hell, anyone that trains probably has several bruises, gi burnes, mat burns, tweaks at any given time, it's just the nature of the beast.

If you truly want to learn, you will in time accept the rough part of training, but you still can control the degree of the roughness by training smart and choosing correct training partners.

As you get better you'll find yourself getting crushed less and less. Learn to avoid being stuck in bad positions, transition to better ones, in the words of Mr Rickson Gracie "flow with the go"....

Unless I have a competiton coming up I am never rolling hard, (if I'm competing soon it's a different matter, but that's just me) always looking to avoid going strength against strength and generally relaxing in the spar. Maybe check out Roy Harris's BJJ for the over 40s for a very good resource on ways to play BJJ without having the physical attributes that many players will have....

That said there are days when you'll get squished, I find playing it for sympathy from the cute girls at work makes it all worthwhile....

Learn who the guys are that play 'knee-on-throat' style jiu jitsu and avoid rolling with those guys. I like to roll with those guys because I learn how to deal with them. Your goals are different. Live, full force rolling is what makes jiu jitsu training jiu jitsu training. If that's the part that is deterring you, maybe another MA would be better.

Different academies do have different paces. Shop around. It helps if you can find an academy that actually has a beginners class.

It also helps to view the group classes as mini-tournaments. Not quite as bad as a tournament, but rolling is going to be tough sometimes. If you need to, back off to one group class a week (principally for the conditioning and rolling) but also try to take private lessons once or twice a week (if you aren't on the mat at least 2 times a week, one way or another, you won't make the progress you want to see). Also try to make friends with classmates who are willing to drill as opposed to rolling. Also work on your conditioning; tons of squats and situps and running. You can do that outside of class.

Try not to take private lessons from blue belts; purples and above tend to be more technical. But if there is an exceptional blue belt who matches your size and weight (in other words, a good training matchup) it would be helpful to take "lessons" which would really just be a way of getting a good drilling/rolling partner who is incentivized to make you work hard, but not to "kill" you in search of his personal win during a sparring match.

There's nothing wrong with you. You aren't a wimp or wuss. You're there. Too many people in bjj think its all about beating down newbies because that's how they grew up in the sport. Merely stating it that way expresses how counterproductive that is. How many wrestlers would have gone to D1 if the environment had been consistently "beat down" instead of progressively "bringing [you] up"?

Ok, the hazing mentality builds mental toughness. But it sounds like you are tough enough to want to find a creative solution, which is a form of fighting back. So keep fighting back, until you win!

BTW the Greenhill materials are the real thing. Check them out.

sounds like you should avoid combat sports imho.

you could just take private lesons and tell the inztructor not to hurt you.

i think you should tell your sparring partners you want to roll light before sparring. i think you will find that most will go at whatever pace you go at after that. but if you start to go harder, dont expect them to hold back.

you could also ask your partners that you would like to jsut work gaurd passing, and if they get a sweep, just start over back in their guard or switch.

i weight in the low 150's and know that getting crushed sucks, keep training and working on not getting your guard passed and you wont get crushed so much. this should make sparring much more fun.

but most important of all, talk to the instructor.

i think doing more privates would be good for you

Most decent schools will have at least some focus on competition. I'd be very suspicious of a school from which no student ever competed.

Privates are a good idea - personally I don't believe you should be PAYING for a private from anyone below purple belt level. You should be able to find some blues or experienced whites who will be willing to help you out, because other guys did the same for them.

All of that said, you aren't going to get good at BJJ unless you work against resistance. Getting crushed sucks, but IMO injuries aren't that common unless you are rolling with a psycho. If the vibe in the school is decent, the instructor won't tolerate bullies or people intentionally injuring you.

I'm 52 and work in an office all day too. I'm pretty fit for my age, which I make time to work on despite working in an office all day and having other commitments besides BJJ. I too get pressured, squashed beaten on, and subbed by younger, heavier, stronger guys. There's a saying in Jiu Jitsu, "where you are is where you need to be". If your guard defense or side control escapes need work, you'll be getting put in that position when rolling until you learn to deal with it. Then you end up getting stuck somewhere else, deal with that, etc.

Just about everyone who does BJJ has to come to terms with the fact that they really suck at it initially, that other people have more natural ability, are more committed, have more time to train or progress faster than they do, etc. That's reality. Don't compare yourself with the other guys. Just ask yourself whther you're getting better. And if it seems like you aren't, just keep training, you will.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques are a whole lot rougher than judo's, pal,
and if you think you know better, then maybe I gotta reeducate you a
little; lock my arms and legs around you and just start screwing my
hard-on into your hips, dude, tying you down and feeling you up and
choking you out all once -