Five Motivators To Get You Back to BJJ Class

Published on by Erin Herle

The beginning of the year marks a start for many things for many people. In regard to training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the challenge becomes getting back into a routine after the holidays. No matter where you are on this Earth, there is no doubt that some sort of break was taken for family and friends, vacations, staycations, or just plain well-deserved rest.

So what motivates us to get into our training attire, and onto the mats again? 

  • Too Much Time Off: Have you gotten tired of not training? Maybe you're ready to get back home to your life since being with family for an extended period? Routine breeds productivity and just simply showing up to class will get you back into the game of learning and sparring pretty fast. And a big motivator is surely just the presence of not being motivated for a while. Funny how that works. Have you ever gotten tired of sleeping so you get up to start your day? Like that!
  • Get Back Down To Size: Holidays and breaks from training usually mean eating; and by all means, indulge all you want! Life is about balance so don't stress if you put on a few pounds or lost a bit of your stamina. Once you're through a week of consistent training, you'll be on your way back to whatever prime state that you've set for yourself. Just three to four rounds in a class is enough to get a good sweat, work out some of your goals on the mat, refocus on your game, and open up those lungs.

  • Seeing Your Professor And Training Partners: There's a special bond between people who train with each other. Not only is Jiu Jitsu a contact sport, you really get close; physically, emotionally and mentally. We are inspired by the higher belts, we relate so much to the lower belts struggling through the plateaus, we share jokes with everyone on the mats. Really, just the familiar faces can get you back into the mindset for training. If you feel comfortable at your gym, cherish it. You've probably already made some lifelong friends.
  • Competition: For some, getting into shape comes from the desire to make weight and compete at a major tournament. The first major tournament of the gi season is the IBJJF European Championship in Lisbon, Portugal. It has become the biggest tournament in the federation meaning many competitors are traveling to vie for their first medal of the year. If you're a high-level competitor or just a hobbyist, venturing to the land of cobblestones, pastel de nata, castles, and outstanding views from hillsides, is a valuable experience. Also, there are competitors who compete in Europe only, so wherever you live, you're likely to meet some new and very different types of athletes and their styles.

  • Mental Stimulation: Learning BJJ is a never-ending journey. Even when you've received your black belt, you feel like it's okay to know nothing and start over. There are counters to every move, new positions being used by the next generation, transitions you've never tried before. If you've gone down the YouTube video wormhole, you know what I mean. Once you're on the mats, you're trying things out in sparring, and discussing the move your instructor taught or going over strategy for the next tournament. I know you believe me when I say there is never a lull in learning on the mats!

So which one applies to you? How are you finding the motivation to start the year with your jiu-jitsu training?