The benefits of Jiu-Jitsu are numerous: self defense, increased fitness, health, social skills, self confidence, humility, ego killer, camaraderie etc…However, not everybody will understand this and see the benefits.
I have a solid sales background, having been a top closer and sales manager for a real estate company and an insurance broker. Whenever I heard an objection from a client, it made me smile and I calmly used a simple 7 step way to counter it and finally get a deal. It’s the same principle as when you are presented with an attack in Jiu-Jitsu.
Step 1 – Remain Silent
Step 2 – Gather Information
Step 3 – Check Your Understanding
Step 4 – Trial Close
Step 5 – Handle Objection
Step 6 – Check Customer Satisfaction
Step 7 – Ask for Order/Continue Discussions
In reality, the best way to convince someone of the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu is to use it on them. The Gracie mount test is great for that.
Here are some of the most common objections that you will hear from people that make excuses about starting Jiu-Jitsu and how to counter them…Using Jiu-Jitsu!
1. “I don’t need to learn Jiu-Jitsu; I carry a gun/knife/samurai sword.”
Having a gun is the ultimate weapon, true. You can also say the same thing for a tank though. but what happens if you do not have a gun or a weapon on you at the exact moment where you are being attacked? Soldiers learn hand to hand combat and Samurais learned Ju-Jitsu (traditional Japanese form) in the case where they wouldn’t have their sword on them. You always have to be ready.
2. “The best self defense is running.”
True also, however running isn’t always an option. What happens if you are with someone else or with a child? You can’t just run a way and leave them. You may also be stuck in a room with an attacker.
3. “I can learn Jiu-Jitsu from Youtube.”
Yes youtube offers a lot of free instruction however not everything on youtube is valid. Anybody can post there and very often the instruction is not of a high level. Some people just upload fancy looking techniques that they themselves don’t even use when rolling. The ideal is to have an experienced instructor who will guide you. Youtube and online are good tools to have as supplement to your training but they will never replace your academy.
4. “I can get much more fit or muscular by training Crossfit/lifting weights/running.”
That depends what your goals are. If your goal is to have a beach body or big bulking muscle, then yes, the gym is the best option. If you want to learn how to defend yourself and get a great workout, then choose Jiu-Jitsu. You can always lift weights/run on the side.
5. “Taking someone down and going to the ground is the stupidest thing you can do on the street.”
Taking someone down in the street is not always advisable because you will not be able to see if there are other attackers behind you. There are many Jiu-Jitsu techniques that do not require any throws and can finish the fight standing (Standing armlocks, standing chokes, wristlocks etc..). Jiu-Jitsu is useful but against a larger and stronger opponent, there is a good chance that you will end up on your back on the concrete. And guess what? You will then be in your world and will be able to end the fight using Jiu-Jitsu.
6. “Some of the positions you get yourself into are too close for comfort.”
The first time I actually went to watch a BJJ class was in 1999, I saw sweaty dudes rolling on the ground and in some weird positions on top of each other. I then decided that I wouldn’t be comfortable being in those positions and decided to go train Muay Thai. When I went back to Jiu-Jitsu in 2001, I realized that when someone is mounting you and trying to rip your arm off, the last thing you are thinking about is how weird the position is. You are thinking only about surviving and reversing the opponent.
7.”I’m too old”
It’s never too late to start training. My instructor Jovan Zerjal was 39 when he started Jiu-Jitsu, and he even competed against people half his age. I’m 35 years and because of Jiu-Jitsu I feel like 18 years old. Multiple times BJJ world champion Runes Cobrinha started training at 21 years old in a time where most champions start in their childhood.
8.”I’m scared to get injured.”
You can get injured doing anything. I’ve trained BJJ for 14 years and have never broken a bone. My father in law broke his leg skiing and another time falling down the stairs. You can do Jiu-Jitsu all your life as it is realtively safe. Some grappling arts like Judo or wrestling are much harder on the body.
9. “I need to get in shape first.”
What better way to get into shape! If you want to get in shape for Jiu-Jitsu, you have to train Jiu-Jitsu. Nothing will get you in shape for Jiu-Jitsu as much as live rolling or drilling will.
10. “Jiu-Jitsu is useless against multiple attackers.”
No martial art is bulletproof. Even if you train for multiple attackers, you will never know what will really happen in the street in real life. Any martial art that advertises its virtues in preparing you for multiple attackers is a lie. Jiu-Jitsu is a solid martial art for self defense but you need to have an instructor that knows how to show you the way.
By Guillaume (Gile) Huni, BJJ black belt and head instructor of in Belgrade, Serbia.