4 differences between relationships with people who train and those who don’t

Have you experienced all of these yet?

Everyday Life

For a normal person, the strange addiction that is Brazilian jiu jitsu is usually hard to understand. Training once or twice a week seems reasonable. After all, this is an equivalent of form of exercise, which is necessary to maintain health. The difficult part starts when you have to explain why you need to train almost every day, whether to a group of friends or a partner. Strangely enough the idea of exhausting 1.5 h long classes or going to the other side of the world to fight people and get nothing for it, doesn’t appeal to the general public.

The most common complaints include Why do you need to go again? and It’ll be okay if you skip it just once (repeated on a regular basis).

On the other hand, BJJ friends who encourage you to train more and better yourself are great, but sometimes they may have an adverse effect. Even though they mean well, trying to force others to train if they are still injured, feeling unwell or just not up for it that day, is annoying and even if you’ll go, you are not very likely to enjoy the session.

Going Out

Whenever you throw a party where the combined group of BJJ and non-BJJ people is invited, one thing is always going to happen.

At some point, the conversation always steers towards jiu jitsu. While the training crowd couldn’t be happier, the remaining guests stare on mortified by the talk of sitting on the head and exploding people’s knees.


Training on holiday can be very tricky.

Unless your friends or partner train too, or they have already accepted your weird obsession, leaving the group to attend a class is often a source of conflict. Normal people see this as being abandoned for a selfish, trivial reason. They may or may not be right, but under special circumstances such as a short holiday or the class potentially intervening with pre-planned activities, it’s not worth risking an argument that could spoil the getaway.


A partner who doesn’t train will generally repeat the same complaints listed above. They may not be as supportive of your training goals, simply because they don’t understand why they are important to you.

Even if your partner is not interested in joining in, bringing them in to watch a class (see How to convince your friends to train BJJ) will at least provide some context for them. Regardless of whether try it themselves or not, BJJ will become something you can talk about rather than being a divisive subject.

If both of you are into jiu jitsu, some great things will happen. You can really talk about your training, travel to competitions together, be supportive with weight cuts, bad days, the hunger etc.

On the other hand, this also means putting up with each other’s grumpiness from being tired most of the time, restlessness caused by injuries and BJJ videos being present in your life 24/7 whether or not you like it.

If BJJ is an integral part of your life, it will be very helpful to have people with similar priorities around you. Though it’s always good to get a wake up call from an outsider who will cut in just in time to stop you from spending a month’s salary on seminars and instructional videos.

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