I’ve attended beginner Jiu-jitsu classes three days a week for the last six months. The Academy shut down over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I missed a few due to work commitments or other training events. I’d estimate I’ve gone to over 65 classes so far.

I am taking Jiu-jitsu from the perspective of a tool-bearer (knives, pistol, impact weapon, OC spray).

My initial goals were:

  • improve my ability to escape side control and top mount
  • control my opponent on the ground so that they cannot hurt me with their body or tools
  • reduce the amount of panic I feel when someone is on top of me

Since training, I’ve added two more:

  • recognize and execute submissions that are high probability and minimize my exposure to tools and the environment (e.g., being slammed)
  • “feel” opportunities based on my opponent’s body and what they are doing

The following are my thoughts after six months of training.


I go to class during the day. These classes have fewer people than ones at night. This gives me more personal attention from the instructors, but limits my training partners. The She Shepherd and I are the only regular attendees. Two of the other “regulars” graduated to other programs a few months ago. There are three other students who attend on a semi-regular basis, including a law enforcement officer who works swing shift and comes to class after work. I know that one of the regulars now attends night classes with his wife. I assume the other students have dropped out.

In many ways, this has a negative effect on our training. However, there is one very large positive: when it’s just The She Shepherd and/or the LEO student, we “cheat” a bit on the curriculum and insert weapons-based concerns into the techniques. This is not part of the regular curriculum.

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