Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why I Train BJJ- Dan Fontaine

Taken from

Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has tremendously changed my life. I have been training for a year now and at 36, I am in the best shape of my life. Around the academy I hear and see countless stories of how BJJ changed peoples' lives. 

BJJ is not just " another " martial art, it is a brotherhood, a way of life and if you get bit with the bug ( which I have ) it becomes a part of your identity. I say that with pride. Pride for what I have accomplished already in 1 year, pride for what I plan to accomplish in 2011 and beyond. 

The teammates I train with are there for different reasons. Some are trying to get in better shape as I was, others are looking to round our their game for MMA, and there are others who want to compete at the highest levels of BJJ. We have all goals and work with each other to achieve those goals. 

A good academy is a tight-knit group with a strong sense of community and looking out for one another. I see this every time I get on the mats. Whether it is the guys that have been around for years or the people that are just starting up. We all have a common goal, to see each other and help each other get better. 

I will admit BJJ is not for everyone. I have had several of my friends and peers say, 
" I don't know how you do it. " or 
" you really roll around and get all sweaty with strangers and choke each other? ".
I simply tell them that I don't expect them to fully understand, until you step on the mats it is tough to understand. 

I started this by saying that BJJ has tremendously changed my life. I would like to end this by stating just how it has;

Came in weighing 204, Currently weigh 184, Goal weight 175-178.

Came in with poor cardio, ran out of breathe wrestling with my then 3 year old son. Now I can wrestle with adults my own size for extended periods of time without " gassing out ".

I used to be run down and tired all the time and carried a great deal of the stresses of my career in my back, in my stomach in the form of eating a poor diet. Now I eat healthy and my time on the mats 2-3 times a week alleviates the stresses my back seemingly used to carry. Sure I have some other " dings " and " dents" but the stress is all but gone.

Due to the stress I just mentioned I used to have significant mood swings and both my co-workers and wife and have said that I much more " even keeled " since finding BJJ. 

My family sees a healthier me, a happier me, a more confident me and much, much more... I owe this all to finding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I am so thankful I did.

If you have ever considered training BJJ or MMA but have reservations for whatever reason. Give it a go. You may get bit with the bug as I have or you may find it is not right for you. Better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. 

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