You’re in lockdown. You’ve never had so much time for activities! Or spare time. You’re reading books. You’re moving around and doing pushups and situps here and there. A sneaky walk for some fresh air.
Life is a little boring, but you my friend have plans. The moment this Coronacraziness is out of the way, and our inividual liberties are not limited by a foreign virus, you’re signing up at that BJJ gym and you’re getting this journey off the road.
If this slight moment in history teaches us anything, it is to take life by the horns and get the things done that you want to get done, and not wait for anything, because you never know when it can all be taken away from you.
This isn’t just virus talk, or lockdowns, it could be injuries, or different circumstances, or anything else.
If you want something, and you have the chance, just do it! So easy to say when we’re in a government imposed lockdown.
Now listen – this virus won’t be here forever. Soon it will be gone, and Corona can go back to a not so hot beer to be drank by the ladies. And, when this happens, this is also your chance to get into jiu jitsu once and for all!
Here are three tips to help you on your way to finding the right school when this blows over:
As much as we love to think we’ll travel far and wide when we can, convenience is still important when it comes to choosing your right school. If your school is easy to access whether from home, or work, or a place you frequent regularly, then you’ll be much more likely to stick to it.
Jiu jitsu is loads of fun, and it’s why we do it, but you also won’t always be motivated to go, especially in the beginning when it is difficult. And regardless of whether you are or not, convenience will be a decisive factor determining whether you remain and stick it out.
Rumour has it I chose my undergraduate degree precisely because it was what I could do at the uni that was close to the jiu jitsu gym I wanted to train at :) This meant jiu jitsu before class, after class, and all too often while class was happening too.
If it’s not convenient, and you’re a little bored, it’s a surefire way to not show up. Once you make a habit of not showing up, you’re a ticking time bomb before you quit. Make it easy on yourself and be sure your jiu jitsu gym is convenient for you.
2. Hygiene & Safety
In a jiu jitsu academy where the main topic of discussion is chokes, and joint locks, it’s important that the group as a whole respect that these submissions can do significant damage.
When a school is highly competitive, and/or forceful and without care in their application of technique, it sets the precedent for the entire school to follow suit and do harm rather than learn.
Now, chokes and armbars aren’t the only thing you need to be careful of in a jiu jitsu dojo! We have seen what Coronavirus has done to the world in the last few weeks. It isn’t just the threats you can’t see. It’s also the ones you can. It’s true that there are similar, invisible yuckies that you need to be very careful of in a jiu jitsu dojo.
Staph and ringworm aren’t new phenomena and are quick to spring up on any academy mats where hygiene isn’t being prioritised. And they can spread like wildfire and can keep people sick and well away from the gym.
Academies that prioritise hygiene is the best way to stay safe and still be able to practice safely with close contact.
That’s why the philosophy of self defence works so well, and why it is so important as a staple of the academy culture. Whether it’s threats that you can see or you cannot see, you need to be prepared to stay safe against them so that you can continue your training.
People are a funny bunch. Sure we have our own personalities, and everyone is unique in their own way. But we also love to congregate, and usually what people around us are doing, we will most probably be doing also.
It’s critical to find a group of people that you can relate to, and who understand your values and also come from a similar place of values. You get the most satisfaction from your training when you have a crew around you that you love, and support, and thoroughly enjoy being around.
You know your crew will be thinking about you, and looking out for you, and you need to know that your team has your back in the good times and in the bad. It comes down to connection, both on the mats, but especially that that transcends the mats.
It’s why at Higher we do the Hangout every month, the Day of Service, and why we place the most emphasis on the social aspects of jiu jitsu – it’s the best part of the fun!
More than anything, come in and partake in a hobby that allows you to mingle with your favourite humans, and connect in ways that make you a human and make you happy. You never know when you won’t have the chance for it again! So when this is all over, come in and do it!