Friday, September 17, 2010

Boxing Vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

I've been doing a fair amount of Brazilian jiu-jitsu over the last eighteen months and I enjoy it. A lot. I like the fact that you can 'lose,' that is, get submitted, and start right over again. In boxing, losing generally involves a lot of pain. I also like the fact that BJJ doesn't give you brain damage.

What I like slightly less is the social atmosphere of BJJ. You always have to deal with other people. Classes are scheduled at regular times and even open mats call for a lot of social interaction. I don't like the structured times and places. In boxing you are alone much of the time, even in a crowded gym. Sparring is intimate but the gloves and headgear maintain a distance, not to mention the distrust and caution you need to show your sparring part.

I love people and hanging out but I've always needed to be alone a lot. Like the cafe, boxing allowed me to be alone around other people. Boxers almost always respect other boxers' privacy. If someone doesn't feel like talking, no one talks to him. You hit the bags alone. You jump rope alone. Roland Barthes called it a Jansenist sport. He was right.

4 comments:

SchweitzerMan said...

I think that was what I liked about it also. The bag room in the gym I trained at was small but everyone was isolated in their own work. Gave me better focus I think

Amy Scheer said...

on being alone around other people:

I feel the same about powerlifting, aside from that pesky need for a spotter. And now I'm trying boxing. Enjoying your book THE GLOVES, by the way; thanks.

Robot Boy said...

Yeah, jiu-jitsu people are better socialized than boxers. I'm enjoying not getting hit in the head so much though.

Amy Scheer said...

Saturday, I finished your chapter on brain damage. Saturday night, watched Williams take a straight left, fall and land with eyes open. Sunday, questioning my entry into this sport.