Stepping on the mat to begin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu takes courage and determination. Many people have an image of jiu jitsu as young, strong and athletic fighters slamming, choking and beating each other. How can a total beginner survive in that environment? The reality of jiu jitsu, however, is far different. Jiu Jitsu can, and should, be for everyone.
The new Foundation Program at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Baltimore was created for just this reason -- to provide a welcoming environment for beginner students to safely learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The first Foundation Class at Zenyo a great success. Twelve students, including seven brand new students, participated in the first class: three moms, two dads, a grad student and several other eager beginners. Ages spanned from 20 to 50.
During the first Foundation Class, the new students learned the essential principles taught at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu. The first principle is on approaching jiu jitsu with the right mindset. The goal is to relax and be open to learning movement and techniques in a new way. The essence of Zenyo is efficiency. Seiryoku Zenyo means "best use of physical and mental energy." Students worked on using as little effort as necessary to get up and return to the ground. Knowing how to safely stand up -- called the technical stand up -- is the first lesson of jiu jitsu. The move can literally save your life in an altercation.
The paradox of jiu jitsu is that while you learn how to incapacitate an adversary through potentially harmful techniques, you must be sure not to harm your partner who is working with you. This is the spirit of Zenyo: mutual welfare and benefit for other students.
Mutual welfare is one of the most important lessons of training in martial arts. In the second lesson of the Foundation class, students covered a technique called the "gift wrap." Of all the techniques of jiu jitsu, this one is the most powerful, but also benign.
Simply by wrapping their partner up in a pretzel, students are able to gain control without violence or striking.
The first Foundation Class was a great success.
Everyone had a fun time learning how the concepts and principles of Zenyo translate not just to the mat but to daily life as well.
There was lots of laughter, joking and play. This is the way of jiu jitsu. This is the way of Zenyo.
The first night of class received awesome reviews:
Julia said, "Class was fabulous."
Tia said, "I had a great time! I'm really looking forward to the next class."
Ingrid said, "What a great group!"
Robin said, "This is a really fun and non-intimidating way to learn."
If you would like to join the new Foundation Program for beginners at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Baltimore, sign up for one week free by clicking here:
John David Emmett is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with an interest in movement and the Feldenkrais method. He teaches at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu in Baltimore.