Learning Japanese Through BJJ
One of the more interesting reasons why I like training at MY Team Okinawa is that the classes are taught in both English and Japanese due to the unique diversity of the gym. It’s a great situation for both beginners and advanced language learners. Beginners of both Japanese and English are able to learn and use simple phrases in real context because the same words are used all the time (ex. grab the sleeve, push the leg, etc.) and advanced learners are able to converse with native speakers in a low-key, completely no pressure environment.
So let’s start with the basics! Covered in this post are body parts, parts of the gi, and basic directional words and verbs.
*This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but rather an introduction to the most commonly used Japanese words in BJJ. If you would like to see something added to this list (or notice a mistake!), please feel free to write it in the comments.
Photo Credit: SLImagesCa via Compfight cc
There are a ton of sites that list various reasons why women should learn BJJ. I’ve listed some of my favorites at the bottom of this post because they’re a great reference for any woman interested in starting BJJ classes.
There are also another ton of posts that list why women actually learn BJJ. Subtly different but equally important, these unique stories of women who have become loyal supporters and high-level practitioners serve as motivation and encouragement for other women in BJJ.
But as great as these posts are, it’s always bothered me that they are always titled with some variation of the question, “Why should women learn BJJ?”
It seems like a valid question but what it’s always sounded like to me is a response to an unspoken, and thus supposedly understood, stance that women shouldn’t learn BJJ.
And that, my friends, is BS.
It shouldn’t matter why anyone decides to learn BJJ. That reason is your own and no one has the right to question it. What matters most is how you learn BJJ.