How long did it take you to finally try BJJ? We all have different stories. For most of us, walking into a BJJ Academy for the first time to inquire about classes or even try our first class can be one of the most daunting experiences of our lives. They say that public speaking is one of the most commonly feared things a human being can do. I would argue that stepping on the mats for the first time with zero martial arts experience and limited athletic training might be even scarier.
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As a practitioner, what are you doing to help others make the transition from outsider to BJJ practitioner? Have you invited your friends and family members to try a class? Have you invited your peers or coworkers to come try a class? When a new face shows up at your academy, do you go out of your way to say hello and make them feel welcome? Do you offer to partner with the person to make them feel a little more comfortable?
For every practitioner that has broken through that fear of trying BJJ for the first time, there are probably dozens of people who are keeping themselves on the outside. Their reasons can be many and varied. They are not athletic. They need to get in shape. They are too busy. They don’t have the money for lessons. The litany of reasons is endless. How do we encourage them to detach from these reasons and excuses and give it a try?
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Be a great example
You are truly the best advertisement for the benefits of jiu jitsu and your academy. Whether you are actively trying to promote the academy or benefits, your friends, coworkers and family members will begin to see a change in you that they may not even realize is because of jiu jitsu. They will most likely see an increase in positivity from you as your enthusiasm for the art grows. They may see dramatic changes in your confidence and body. They may see you losing excess weight or handling life’s stress differently.
Use social media
Social media can be a great tool to share the gospel of BJJ as you know it. Check in on Facebook when you visit your academy. Whether you know it or not, your friends will see you visiting the gym over and over and will begin to take notice and they may ask you. Posting pictures of you training or sharing BJJ videos will also go a long way towards getting the word out about BJJ.
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Offer to accompany them to their first class
One of the absolute best things you can do is invite them to come with you a class. By building a bridge, you can help them overcome their nerves or anxiety and feel more comfortable giving it a try.
Check out this short video from BJJ black belt, author and former Navy Seal regarding his thoughts about time running out and how he approaches the advancing years.
Whatever you do, never give up on sharing the benefits of jiu jitsu with as many people as possible. The art can truly change lives in a variety of positive ways. By being the walking, talking living commercial for the benefits of BJJ you are helping to grow the art, grow your academy and spreading the positive benefits that you experience with a wider audience. And who doesn’t think that’s a good idea?
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