Awesome. So far, so good. We had four people show for Tuesday's 8:00 class and six people came to the Thursday class. There's been a lot of talk about it and how we can generate more interest. I predict it will start filling up pretty fast (fingers crossed). All those hard working people that work during the day and couldn't make it to our 4:00 class can now come train with us.
Having a Jiu-Jitsu class in a traditional Dojo is not an easy thing to do. Some of the students and teachers from the other disciplines eye us suspiciously. "What are they doing over there? What in the hell is going on over there?" From afar, it must look like just a bunch of undisciplined sweaty jocks wrestling around on the mat. In my Jiu-Jitsu class, there is a lot of interaction and a lot of talking among the students as they work to figure things out. There is laughing and yes, the occasional giggle from Fuji when he gets swept unexpectedly. This is not the way in a traditional Karate class.
We're infants in comparison to the time the other disciplines have been around. This is primarily the reason we've had a difficult time in securing a better class time.
I sometimes wonder what the other disciplines really think of us. We have a strange belt system. Many of the Jiu-Jitsu students have been around for what seems like a long time, yet oddly no one seems to make it to black belt. The closeness of grappling and the shared hardship endured during training bring us together. We treat each other like brothers and sisters. We use strange names for our techniques. We call a sankaku jime a triangle choke. Most of my students can't count to ten in Japanese. We are loud and boisterous sometimes. We sweat until we can sweat no more. We grapple until we're exhausted and have nothing left to give, yet we fight again, that one last match. Then we collapse flat on the mat, which to the casual observer might look suspiciously like we're napping. I get it. Our training methodology and philosophy is not like any of the other disciplines. Even so, we still drill techniques, combinations and movements until they are ingrained not just in our brain, but in our body. And we are very good at what we do.
Even though we might be considered the red headed step children of the Dojo (no disrespect intended to any red headed step children), we have a quite large student base. We are not going away anytime soon. And if we continue to grow, we just might take over the Dojo. When I started training, there were only two Jiu-Jitsu classes a week; Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 PM. Worst time slot ever, I might add. We now have seven class times each week. If we get enough enough students, we will start a revolution and take over the Dojo.