Quarantine has effected many people’s way of life, from their work life, to their family life, seeing loved ones relatives or friends and their daily schedule. The life of a martial artist is no different and the way of life we follow has greatly been altered due to Covid-19. Any modern day martial art, examples being wrestle, kickboxing, boxing, Jiu jitsu(Brazilian) etc. requires more than one person to train. Of course there are many solo drills in each art you can do to improve, but majority of training that will extend your knowledge and skill requires training partners.
I’ve been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for many years off and on, the last three years being on. I’m a purple belt under Carl Massaro, who he himself is a 3rd degree black belt under Renzo Gracie who was his coach for most of his Jiu jitsu journey. Carl Massaro is also very good friends with BJJ coach and innovator John Danaher, who many know as GSP Jiu Jitsu coach and the coach of the famous Danaher death squad. Mr. Danaher has produced legends on the mat such as the current no gi phenom Gordon Ryan, his brother Nicky, Garry Tonon, and many others. Team Renzo Gracie is known for there specialty in no gi especially the main academy in the city in manhattan which many people refer to as the blue basement.
I’ve been training under Carl for three years and I train religiously. I try to make it at least 5 times a week, I’ve competed, trained staff the blue basement, rolled against famous competitors, and met some awesome people. The lockdown has shut down many martial arts schools across the world, mine included, and has severely halted the progress of Jiu jitsu athletes everywhere. Similar to the 1920’s when the prohibition occurred and everyone went to underground bars to drink, many people are doing secret training sessions with a limited number of people who they trust. Now, whether you agree with that or not is your opinion but the fact of the matter is that some people only have Jiu Jitsu. People dedicate their lives to the art and the sport and that’s why it’s made it so far. Jiu Jitsu for me as improved my life in so many ways, it’s made me more determined, focused, strict with my daily regimen, and has even helped me mentally and spiritually. Many Jiu jitsu athletes will tell you it’s helped them with mental health and has aided them with their battles against depression. I have never experienced the clinical medical condition known as depression personally but I have felt down and out with stuff in my life, be it my job, family, losing a loved one, etc. Jiu Jitsu has always helped me through tough times and will always be there for me and anyone who relies on it.
Anyone who trains can tell you the importance of it in their lives and the impact it has made. I urge you all to try it and experience the joy for yourself. For many enthusiasts like myself, training means everything to you and not being able to train is devastating. Just like everyone who’s locked down, I’m counting down the days until I can return to the mats and train with my Jiu jitsu family.