Part 1: Get Fit or Get "Old" (a.k.a. - How I Got into BJJ)
- I was fat! ... well not super fat but 20lbs more than my natural body weight (~130lbs).
- I graduated from college and started working as a fulltime software engineer.
- I sat at my desk all day and wrote code, skipped meals, wait until I became super hungry and ate a huge dinner.
- I had no concept of clean eating and I didn't exercise at all. Playing ping pong was even tiring for me!
- I was also a smoker.... :(
....After living like that for 2 years, one day I found myself to be 150lbs!!! Not only that, my energy level was always pretty low.
I have always been an athletic person growing up and did a lot of sports in school.
So it made me very sad to see my fitness level dropped to that degree when I wasn't even 30 years old. I decided that I needed to quit smoking and start getting fit.
Part 2: Why BJJ
I tried a lot of activities before I landed on Brazilian Jiujitsu. I did long distance running, tennis, wind surfing, snowboarding, kung fu, capoeira, kick boxing, etc. Nothing really helped me lose weight like Brazilian Jiujitsu. BJJ is all about grappling, and it requires so much core strength that I normally don't use. Just one minute of grappling would get me super tired!
BJJ was also super fun and mentally stimulating since it's all about strategies, physics, and personal artistic expression (developing your own game).
So I decided that if I was gonna lose weight, I need to find something that I would love to do consistently 3 times a week and week after week. I began loosing 2 lbs a month just training 3x a week. After 1 year, I lost 20lbs!! BJJ allowed me to gain my physical confidence and spirit back as an athlete.
How I prepare for competition and how CrossFit helps me
I prepare myself mentally and physically for jiujitsu competitions.
Mental preparation usually comes from competing often and learning from what works and what doesn't work for myself. (I discovered that I do better fighting with my logical side then my emotional side since my personality is engineer-like.) Mental prep is highly personal so it's best to discover it from personal experience.
Physical preparation includes jiujitsu technical execution as well as fitness level:
1. Jiujitsu Technique (I train 5 times a week to ensure my game is developing and staying sharp.)
2. Fitness Preparation
This includes strength/conditioning and nutrition support.
CrossFit is what I use for my conditioning so I don't gas out during my fights.
For strength, I go to Kristin's Olympic Lifting class. She also builds a custom strength program for me to work on weekly.
For nutrition support, I just make sure I eat clean and eat enough. (ex: no fried food, no sugar, no alcohol)
Competition experience to me as a whole
Doing BJJ competitively is a lifestyle commitment. It can be stressful, but I find it a big motivator for me to take my jiujitsu to the next level. It makes me train with a goal in mind, it motivates me choose to eat nutrient dense food rather than junk food, it makes me excited to step out there and test my skills, and it makes me train harder and make necessary sacrifices.
Even though it seems that my life and training revolves around jiujitsu, I believe it is making me a better/stronger/happier version of myself.
I am living upon my passion and that's what makes me thrive in life.
I love this lifestyle!