CrossFit World Champion and BJJ Brown Belt: What’s Harder, BJJ or CrossFit?

CrossFit World Champion and BJJ Brown Belt: What’s Harder, BJJ or CrossFit?

Crossfit is it’s own demanding sport, requiring a person to be well versed in strength, speed, and endurance in a countless variety of variations and events. A nice amount of grapplers are finding their way over to the crossfit world for that athletic edge on the mats.

BJJ black belt and Navy Seal legend Jocko Willink share s his thoughts and Crossfit. Interessingly, he find parralels between the growth of Jiu-Jitsu and Crossfit:

Crossfit deserves the credit to spreading to the general population what is squatting, lifting etc…

Jiu-Jitsu and Crossfit are popular. If you look at the number of Jiu-Jitsu academies and Crossfit boxes around, there are so many.

In a fascinating interview, Jason Khalipa, a CrossFit Games Champion, three-time Team USA CrossFit member, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, delves into the age-old question: what’s harder, BJJ or CrossFit? With his extensive background in both disciplines, Jason provides a unique and insightful perspective.

Barriers to Entry

Jason begins by addressing the initial barriers to entry for both sports. He explains, “I think Jiu-Jitsu is harder to start. There’s a physical touch barrier that’s uncomfortable for many, especially women. You walk into a CrossFit gym, and you can scale movements and work at your own pace without physical contact.” This comparison highlights the mental and physical challenges beginners face when starting BJJ versus CrossFit.

Progression and Mastery

When it comes to becoming proficient, Jason believes BJJ presents more difficulties. “It’s hard to get mediocre at Jiu-Jitsu,” he says. “To get your first armbar might take at least six months. CrossFit, you can get mediocre pretty quickly because there are so many skills to learn.” He continues, “Reaching the highest levels in both sports is tough. Competing in the CrossFit Games is like earning a black belt in BJJ. Both require immense dedication.”

Personal Experience and Transition

Jason’s transition from CrossFit to BJJ came after a successful career in competitive CrossFit. Despite his fitness level, BJJ provided a humbling experience. “I was very physically fit, but a mediocre-sized blue belt could take me to school,” he recalls. “Jiu-Jitsu requires a mindset and dedication to the craft that CrossFit doesn’t.”

Competition and Self-Defense

While Jason has competed in several BJJ tournaments, including the US Jiu-Jitsu Open and Master Worlds at Purple Belt, his primary motivation lies in self-defense and personal growth. He explains, “Competing is exciting, but my main goal is to control and not necessarily hurt. I want to do something I can continue for the rest of my life.”

Training and Preparation

For competitions, Jason trains with elite practitioners like Mason Fowler. However, he balances his intense training with family responsibilities. “I need to show up for my family. If I get hurt preparing for a competition and can’t play baseball with my son, that’s a problem,” he notes.

Reflections on Community

Jason also highlights the similarities between the CrossFit and BJJ communities. “Both have a strong sense of community and shared suffering. This connection is magical and essential in today’s sedentary and isolated society.”

Jason Khalipa’s insights provide a comprehensive look at the challenges and rewards of both CrossFit and BJJ. His experience and dedication to both disciplines offer valuable lessons for anyone looking to embark on a journey in either sport.

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