Chase Callaghan - Blue Belt Advice
What motivated you to start training BJJ?
I watch a fair bit of MMA so thought it was a bit 'casual' of me to not be doing a type of martial art. I've also been attacked in town so thought self defense was in order if it ever came to it.
What advice would you give to beginners who are just starting their BJJ journey?
That first step is just showing up, it took me 2-3 years just to show up to my first class. It's hard not to if you're new, but spazzing out thinking you're in danger and someone's going to kill you, if you're new and slow things down you'll find better progression. Leave the ego at the door as you're going to get tapped countless times, but don't be so hard on yourself, that's what going to help you improve bit by bit.
What motivated you to continue training BJJ, even when it was challenging or frustrating?
It takes some type of crazy sometimes to consistently get beat up and enjoy it. Also, the poor humour from Shane-o is amusing.
Did you ever experience any significant injuries during your BJJ journey, and if so, how did you deal with them and continue to train?
Nothing significant, niggles here and there from poor rolling judgements. Just communicate and everyone does there best to accommodate you.
Were there any specific training partners who played a significant role in your development as a BJJ practitioner?
Everyone's had their role in my development from being able to casually chat crap with Spence and Shane-o. The advice from Tony, the hard but fun rolls with Bruno and Darren. All the people who started around the same time as me, seeing them improve and wanting to develop with them. Even Geoff's surprised looks when I show up after a 2 week unexplained absence and NFO's.
How has BJJ impacted your life outside of the gym, and what benefits have you seen from your continued practice?
It's helped me develop as a person, that's it's okay to slow things down and be patient not everything goes the way you want it to.
How did you balance training BJJ with other commitments in your life, such as work or family?
I don't see BJJ as a commitment, it's something I enjoy that I make time for, just like anything else that's important to me.
Did you ever go through a period where you felt like you weren't improving or plateaued in your BJJ journey, and if so, how did you push through it?
Due to the type of person I am, I always see it that way, but I always smile and laugh cause it's fun regardless and some days you notice those tiny improvements and realize you're not as useless as you once thought.
Were there any particular techniques or concepts that you struggled with as a white belt, and how did you overcome those challenges?
There's still plenty I struggle with sadly, but repetition is king, one day I'll get there.
What role did competition play in your BJJ journey, and how did you approach preparing for and competing in tournaments?
Yet to compete but willing to help anyone fullfil there training needs.
Looking back on your journey, is there anything you wish you had done differently or advice you would give to your younger self starting out in BJJ?
Start earlier, it's not as scary as you think to step outside your comfort zone, there's great people and good times to be had.
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