I'd love to train, but...
Working technique at Revolution BJJ
The image is of the technique portion of class, a slow, measured way to get better at the BJJ techniques taught.
Reason #1: Jiu Jitsu is a complete fitness program in and of itself
Reason #2: We're not going to throw you to the wolves on your first day
The aforementioned skill levels most gyms offer are designed precisely because of something we (the owners) saw when we first started training jiu jitsu nearly 20 years ago. We saw beginners, ourselves included, joining a gym and being essentially roughed up and attacked during their first class, and this extended on into the first few months of our BJJ journeys. The end result was that we were really, really tough, and we could take a lot of pressure -- those of us who stuck around, anyway.
As a result, this mentality pervaded for some time, and we became the wolves, eager for new sheep to be thrown in so that we could weed out the weak and make the survivors that much stronger. I was fortunate to be in good enough shape and mentally tough enough to make it through this initiation, but over the years, I've adopted a much more modern perspective -- and I say "modern" here because I believe most gyms have also adopted this perspective, but it sure wasn't around when I was coming up.
Essentially, the new rule of the day is: no throwing beginners to the wolves. The idea is that toughness blossoms over time, and just because someone isn't super tough on their first day does not mean that they won't be a tough SOB two or three years down the line. Many of our best students now have gone through this coddling process and have become not only extremely technical practitioners, but also extremely mat-tough. The system works.
Jiu jitsu is more fun than every other workout
Reason #3: Running doesn't get you into shape for jiu jitsu. Jiu jitsu gets you into shape for jiu jitsu.
Insert other fitness-related activity here: (Weight lifting) does not get you into shape for jiu jitsu. (Swimming) does not get you into shape for jiu jitsu. (Playing in a band) does not get you into shape for jiu jitsu. Only BJJ is BJJ, and only BJJ can adequately get you into shape to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Well, yes. You do need to get into shape but that is, of course, going to happen over the course of time. But learning to pace yourself is a huge part of the art, and that is one of the amazing things that separates jiu jitsu from all other martial arts: you're going to be resting for a large percentage of the time. Sure, you can kick back and wait for your moments in boxing, but you're also going to constantly be running around the ring, trying not to get hit, keeping you hands up, and so on.
All white belts are terrible
Everybody sucks at first. You may as well go ahead and get that out of the way. No amount of preparation, or putting it off, is going to make you better at BJJ, at least not to the same degree and with the same rapidity as stepping on the mat, sucking it up, and training! Get started training right now, and don't put it off any longer. It's going to be a lifelong journey, and the one regret I hear most from my friends who have been training for years and years is that they wish they had started sooner. Start your own journey today!