One consistent I have found in jiu jitsu is that everyone has fears. In Korea, many foreigners feared having no English instruction. Other common fears may include:

In Korea, I adjusted. I am comfortable with non-English instruction, and I am fine being the only foreigner and only woman. I even feel comfortable visiting other academies in Korea. However, moving to America from Korea has brought up a different set of anxieties.


Jiu Jitsu Institute is curriculum based. I find right now I am most anxious about my skill level. This is completely common, and in my case there are Reasons for that feeling. I came from schools that were not curriculum based, and from September 2014 until February 2015, I probably went a maximum of 10 times. Not going to class absolutely affects your performance and your stamina. Will I improve? Of course. But for now, I’m the four stripe blue belt who gets stuck on the bottom.

Yes, this actually happened

Yes, this actually happened


Thankfully, Jiu Jitsu Institute has both fundamental and advanced classes. I can specifically address my anxiety about the curriculum by learning it! Yes, there’s also something unnerving about feeling anxious and then being literally at the front of the class when you line up by rank, but I am still meeting it head on.


This will be the first time I’ve joined a gym and was part of the majority. Friendships will be easier due to lack of language and cultural barriers. I will benefit from being able to overhear the upper belts/instructors help other students. I’ll also get a lot of the finer details I may have missed when learning in another language. Plus, a load of new friends!

Jiu Jiu’s Question: What is currently giving you some anxiety in BJJ (or in whatever sport you do)? How are you handling it? What is something positive that offsets that for you?