How old were you when you first found out about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? And how old were you when you went for your first training session?
Jocko Willink was just 19 years old when he rolled for the first time. Back then, he was already a Navy SEAL and enjoyed training:
SEALs like to fight. And SEALs like to train… And how are you going to learn how to fight? You’ve got to train.
The first time I’ve ever trained with someone and you get choked… I was, what, like 19 years old I think? And I had this old SEAL master chief who knew Jiu-Jitsu. This was in 1992, maybe 1993; when I didn’t know anything, when no one knew anything! And he had been training with the Gracie’s.
So, he knew Jiu-Jitsu, he was like a high level white belt at the time, which meant that he knew the basic moves.
Needless to say, Jocko was submitted over and over again by the old master chief. And he was immediately hooked. He wanted to learn BJJ as soon as possible:
And here I was, this young SEAL. On the other side was this old master chief… Who’s choking me, armlocking me. I couldn’t do anything.
And I realized that this was a power. That this [BJJ] was a legit power. And I didn’t ever want to be in a situation where somebody would have this power over me.