How BJJ Will Affect Your Personal Life

You will probably get addicted to this sport, and you will likely never shut up about great BJJ is to your friends and family. This is only kind of a joke. In reality, this happens quite frequently. It really goes to show how much of a positive impact this sport can have on people’s lives. Just keep in mind that from the outsiders perspective, it may look closer to a cult than enlightenment. The tone of this section is going to border on snark, but you need to hear the truth.


You are probably going to drive your friends insane when you first start BJJ. For a while, everything that isn’t Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might seem a bit boring, or just not as fun as it once was. Even when you are having fun doing something else, you may still find yourself fantasizing about pulling off that new submission or sweep you’ve been working on. Do your best to not be too obnoxious, and keep in mind that your friends probably don’t want to listen to you talk non-stop about BJJ or come with you to your next class. Let them know how great you think it is, invite them to join you, and then drop it. If they ask about it after that, answer any questions, but keep it short. Additionally, don’t be that friend that tries to solve every problem by offering a wrestling challenge. Does the group have differing opinions on where to eat dinner? This is not the time to challenge them to a grappling match. Keep in mind that I am offering this advice because I’ve been there. I’ve been that friend, but you don’t have to make the same mistakes.


While your friends can easily avoid you by ignoring your calls and texts, your family won’t be so lucky. Due to this, be extra careful not to inundate them with lengthy stories of that epic 10-minute sparring session you had last night. Additionally, if you do end up dragging your kids to BJJ, remember that they might not be as interested in the technical aspects of the belly-down armbar variation as you are. That being said, kid’s classes are often an exciting, fun-filled hour of mania that includes lots of exercise, games, and some BJJ technique. If you want to enjoy BJJ with your children, consider volunteering as an assistant at your gym’s kid’s class. It can be a fantastic way to connect with your child and share the joys of BJJ with them, without making it entirely about you.

Significant Other

Of all the people to be most careful around, it is critical that you don’t overwhelm your significant other with your tales from the mats. The reason for this is that they are probably the person who is most likely to actually sit there and listen to you for a long period of time. Eventually, however, their patience will wear thin, and you will lose all talking privileges. In some rare instances, they may accompany you to the gym. In even rarer circumstances, they may get addicted themselves. I would not recommend holding your breath for them to jump on the BJJ bandwagon, though, and don’t let that impact your relationship. Remember that BJJ is not the only expression of art and exercise in this world, and different people find joy in different things, and that’s okay. You can still love them, even if they don’t think that Berimbolo into Omoplata is the epitome of high art.


Repeat slowly after me, “My workplace is not a recruiting ground for BJJ.” Very good. I think you have what it takes, kid. You’re gonna do great out there. In all seriousness, just be sensitive to the dynamic of your workplace and your colleagues when it comes to talking about BJJ. That’s probably a good rule of thumb when talking to anyone about anything in your personal life, but especially true for work. Depending on how formal your work is, you may want to not use terms like “positional dominance” or “submitting from bottom.” That can easily result in a quick trip to HR, and it might be harder to explain the context than you think. On the other hand, some workplaces are open and candid, and you would never have to worry about getting in trouble for discussing personal topics. In fact, some workplaces may even have colleagues who train BJJ together. I’ve heard of some places where people train on their lunch break. Simply be aware of your surroundings, understand the boundaries of where you work, and as always--don’t overwhelm everyone around you with BJJ talk.

Justin Murphylife, family, friend