Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Training Full Time

My instructor has fallen sick, so no BJJ today or yesterday. I decided to once again try to break in my Vibrams, which is putting my calves in a ton of pain! I totally see how the vibrams change the way you run though, and the trails around my house aren't too gravelly so I can run with no pain on my feet. I'm hoping that I won't need to go back to traditional running shoes now.

On Sunday, I found out that one of my teammates had just moved to Camp Springs, Maryland to train full time under Lloyd Irvin. For those who don't know, Lloyd Irvin runs one of the most successful Jiu Jitsu teams in America. He has garnered some controversy amongst BJJ traditionalists, as Lloyd gained his black belt relatively quickly, and has produced some to black belt rather fast as well. Some of his more famous students are JT Torres, Mike Fowler, and Tracy Goodell. Tracy went from blue to brown in only one year. Lloyd was a businessmen before he entered the Jiu Jitsu world, and therefore has the money to give students a living stipend so they can train full time.

I think a lot of people at some point have wondered what it would be like to train full time. I certainly have wondered what it'd be like. And while BJJ is a lot of fun, I could see doing it full time as being somewhat stressful. I don't know if Lloyd provides his students with health insurance, but there are bound to be injuries training full time and it's risky to put all your eggs in one basket like that and then get injured. There is the risk of burnout like there is in any other sport. I've been doing some form of martial arts since I was 8 and have yet to burn out, but it is something to keep in mind. There are few people other than Lloyd who have really made BJJ into a full on career. After competing for many years, I imagine most black belts aspire to run their own academies. Running an academy is quite an endeavor, and I can only imagine how tough it is to keep the costs of a gym afloat, pay the instructors, and have some left for the owner. I think this is why many black belts hold seminars and charge anywhere from 60-150 per person.

On an emotional level, would I train full time? I'm 22 and currently unemployed- of course that sounds awesome! But from a levelheaded perspective, someone like me essentially becoming a professional athlete and then trying to piggyback off of it into a career is a bit far fetched. Plus I have this degree I'd like to use someday, plus eventually get a masters.

I can only imagine what my parents' reaction would be if I told them my college degree was going out the window to jiu jitsu!

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