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This photo in not directly linked with the writing. Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash.
- KIM Ki Young
Due to the influence of the media, Jiu-Jitsu is gaining more attention from people. There was no place to learn Jiu-Jitsu where I live, in Chungju, Korea, until a few years ago. Some practitioners found out there were many people who wanted to learn Jiu-Jitsu and started opening gyms, and now there are a total of five in operation. I enjoyed watching video clips of Jiu-Jitsu on Youtube before one of my friends invited me to register at one of those gyms a month ago.
If you do not know anything about Jiu-jitsu, or if you want to learn but cannot make up your mind as it looks dangerous and hard, please read this article through. Long story short, Jiu-Jitsu is not difficult at all. Once you start learning it, I am sure you will be addicted to it.
First of all, let’s look at the history. Jiu-Jitsu was first started by a Japanese man called Mitsuyo Maeda. He taught Judo to Carlos Gracie. Afterwards, people from the Gracie family won many games at UFC using Jiu-Jitsu, which has led to its worldwide popularity. As Jiu-Jitsu came from Judo, they share similar uniforms and skills. However, once you learn Jiu-Jitsu, you will realise the differences.
To begin Jiu-Jitsu, you should first go to the gym. Otherwise, you cannot meet a teacher or a partner to practice. At the gym, you can also learn manners along with Jiu-Jitsu itself. Manners are important in Jiu-Jitsu. I also began to greet others politely since I began practising Jiu-Jitsu. Registration at the gym normally costs around 80 to 130 USD per month in Korea. You also need to buy uniforms and belts. Uniforms usually cost around 60 to 170 USD. It would be a good idea for beginners to buy a set of a uniform and a white belt. It costs quite a lot to start. However, once you begin practicing it, you will know it is worth paying that amount of money.
In Jiu-Jitsu, we call the uniform “Gi,” and you also need to wear a belt. Usually, those uniforms come in white, blue or black, and you can choose a colour you like as your uniform. However, you cannot choose the colour of your belt because of the ranking system. If you are a beginner, you are supposed to wear a white belt. As I have practiced Taekwondo for ten years and have a black belt, it felt a bit awkward wearing a white belt at first. As you progress, you will gradually be given a blue, purple, brown, and black belt. It usually takes around ten years to get a black belt. The practitioner’s promotion is determined by his/her instructor based on skills, attitude among others, and more.
As it became known that Jiu-Jitsu is the only martial art where female practitioners can defeat male opponents, people who have relatively small physique, or females are coming to learn Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, Jiu-jitsu is a kind of martial arts where weight division or difference in power can be neglected. The chief instructor of the gym where I practice, once sparred with a middle school student, and, apparently, he could not do anything because he was overwhelmed by the excellent skills of the student practitioner. Practicing Jiu-Jitsu is good for fitness, but at the same time it is the best martial art for self-defence in case when you are engaged in a fight or being threatened. If you are still reluctant to start learning Jiu-Jitsu, the first step you should take is “to put your foot in the gym.” Then, you will be fascinated by it. I strongly recommend anyone reading this article to learn Jiu-jitsu to become a strong individual who can defend yourself.