Reaching Out to Missing BJJ Teammates

One of the unusual, but nice things about jiu jitsu is its culture of almost hyper-accountability. You miss a couple of days at your regular treadmill/weights/whatever is popular at the time kind of gym and no one bats an eyelash (usually). Miss a couple of days of jiu jitsu class, particularly when you are a higher rank and I think for most people there’s a good chance that someone’s going to be sending you a text asking if everything’s ok.

And honestly it’s a practice that I engage in, and while shouldn’t be forced on anyone I think in general should be encouraged if they feel inclined to check in on another teammate. We spend a good deal of time aggressively & strategically hugging one another, it’s hard not to have some kind of emotional investment into your teammates’ well being. And as someone who has received those texts and Facebook messages before, frankly it’s nice to know that someone in your life cares enough to note your absence in class or training.

That’s not to say you should demand to know where another person has been while they have been out: that’s not the point. It’s more about showing someone that you care, and less about keeping tabs on them. In the past I’ve sent some messages with genuine concern, saying that I haven’t seen someone and just wanted to make sure everything is ok- or, I picked this up from a friend: when she hasn’t spoken to someone in a while she’ll reference the movie Cool Runnings and just send them this image:

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However you show that you care about your teammates, again I would say still respect their privacy. While a lot of times people are wiling to tell you what’s going on- like “hey just working a bunch of overtime,” or “needed to take care of some things,” or even “tweaked some body part while training and just want to give it some time to rest,”, keep in mind sometimes people are unfortunately dealing with something more serious, and they may not want to tell you why they are missing class, that’s ok, and just offer your support and that you look forward to seeing them on the mats again and and/or if they need something to just reach out (really only offer that if you really do have the bandwidth to help though).

That’s all for now- with so much going on in everyone’s lives, it’s nice now and again to reach out to those missing teammates and let them know that you care.

Have a great day everyone!

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