Hi, my name is Dan Abretske. I’m a software engineer, early thirties. Been training for probably four and a half years, I think now? So it’s been so much fun, I’ve lost track of all the time I’ve spent here. It’s just so much fun to be with people who love doing what they’re doing. You get into the room, you blow off all the stress you’ve had from the day or the week, you feel awesome when you’re done, and I just missed it. I could just feel myself getting twitchier and twitchier the longer I didn’t have jujitsu in my life.

I feel physically fitter, I feel, my entire body, I feel much more in-tune with my balance, my physical abilities, everything just feels much more natural. Any sort of gawkiness or unbalance you have, you have to train out, or else you won’t be able to do half to the things when you do. It’s just been something that, it lets me push myself in a way that I don’t normally have to push myself. My job was mostly mental, I spent a lot of time sitting in my chair in front of a monitor and screen and it’s just fantastic to get away from that one rut and do something completely, totally outside of the wheel house and something that I feel very challenged doing all the time for jujitsu.

You can see people who come in and they have very good wrestling or something like that and it’s very brute force, they power through everything, but as time goes along, or as time goes longer, the people who are more thoughtful and cerebral to start tend to get better and better. And I think, to a certain degree, it’s similar to what I do mentally in a year of solving puzzles. Your opponent is a puzzle to be solved, their guard or their guard passing game is one piece of their puzzle, and then you try to find the piece of the puzzle that counters them.

So you’re constantly playing this mental strategy game like chess or something, so you’re looking for that, I guess in my term, the aura for jujitsu, the way to impose your will, your algorithm on another person. I think you will not find yourself comfortable here if you don’t expect to do work, if you don’t expect to push yourself.

If you just want everything to be handed to you, you’ll burn out, it won’t be handed to you. You have to put the work in, you have to try, you have to care. I think anyone can come and start. I think you’ll find out whether or not you do expect things to come easy, and if you’re willing to work and you’re willing to put that effort in, you’ll have one of the most rewarding experiences you can.