January 4, 2021 · 8:31 am
Vaccines are starting to be distributed, hooray! I know some people are concerned about exactly what is in the vaccine, but frankly I think about some of the places where yI’ve trained, or competitions I’ve attended where people will walk barefoot into the bathroom… I’m not that worried about something that was created in a sterile, lab environment.
While it may seem like that is the end of the story, you just get your two shots and then you’re done, unfortunately I think it’s going to be a little more complicated than that. I know there is some concern that those who are vaccinated will be more likely to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, which can put more vulnerable students at risk.
While the hope is that everyone is vaccinated by the end of the year, it’s January…. that’s a long time to not allow people to train, especially after the previous 9 months, and ESPECIALLY when there is a part of the population that has been vaccinated. I’m wondering then how gyms and academies will handle this: will they still require social distancing and masks? Will they separate classes based on those who have been vaccinated and those who have not? There are also some people out there who don’t want the vaccination- how are those people handled?
As I’ve mentioned before, there is no simple, easy answer for this. Some academies may go for a more complicated logistical approach, some may continue with social distancing and other pre-vaccine protocols. It’s going to vary for different gyms, and there’s really no “one size fits all” solution. It’s going to take some time and we’re just going to have to feel it out- I would say think about what you are comfortable with, and if that is something different than what your coach or instructor has in mind, tell them and hopefully you guys can work something out.
That’s all for now- have a great day everyone!
December 17, 2020 · 8:28 am
I logically understood the courage it took to get back to jiu jitsu after taking some time off, but when we were able to train, I fully appreciated the guts it takes for someone to get back to jiu jitsu.
Almost every time someone comes back from jiu jitsu it’s because they took some time off to focus on their family or career, or (unfortunately) to deal with some sort of injury or other personal issue. After some time the siren song of jiu jitsu gets them back into the gym, which is great. It is a little however like trying to go through a choreographed dance after years of not practicing it: you’ll remember bits and pieces, but you’ll feel clumsy and your timing is off. Still, people still take all of this and make an effort to persevere.
Over the summer gyms were open to some extend and we were able to attend classes, and man it was rough: feeling out of shape for jiu jitsu, clumsy, the frustration of knowing that you understand how to do something, that you used to do it all the time but your body will not cooperate. And that’s hard for a lot of people- we like to be good at things, and we especially hate when we used to be good at something and now we’re not.
We’re back to a full lockdown now for the time being, but when gyms open back up, I have to say it will take a lot of courage and grit for people to come back. We will, it will suck, and then it will get better. Keep this experience in mind the next time someone comes back to jiu jitsu after all of this covid craziness is over: it’s going to suck for them, but it took a lot of courage for them to get back to the gym and it will continue to take some grit for them to keep continuing, and that should be respected.
That’s all I have for now- have a great day everyone!
December 14, 2020 · 9:20 am
It’s a valid question: we’ve seen or heard about a lot of schools shutting down due to Covid restrictions, so it’s a concern and fear for a lot of people. Some may see this as a moot point, since vaccines are on their way, but considering the spacing of the vaccines and overall availability, the sport could take a hit over the next few months as cases rise.
We have to keep in mind that this was a martial art and sport that started in garages, and also it’s a sport full of stubborn people. As long as there are at lease two people with a desire to roll on the ground in some fancy thick pajamas, jiu jitsu will survive. At worst in some areas it may need to be paused in some areas, or there could be a shake up in terms of available academies where one can train. This is also a sport though that for some time was practiced in garages. While IBJJF has added a level of legitimacy to academies, that’s really more of a concern for people that want to compete in their tournaments. For a very large portion of the jiu jitsu population, most just want to train without dreams of making it to an IBJJF podium. In that case, a lot of these schools can basically go “underground” while we try to rebuild as the vaccine becomes more available.
lt’s a stressful time to be sure, especially for a lot of small school owners as they are unsure about their future. As a whole though, I think jiu jitsu in general will weather the pandemic and we will be back to trying to choke the living daylights out of one another at some point.
Have a great day everyone!
November 17, 2020 · 9:39 am
Well, here in Philadelphia we had a good run of relaxed restrictions when it came to gatherings, going to the gym, etc. Unfortunately due to a stark climb in cases over the past few weeks, starting this Friday we will be back to more severe restrictions- which includes a ban on indoor gyms.
As I mentioned before, this is a complicated issue when it comes to whether or not it’s the right call: on the one hand, it’s an effective way to slow the spread of the virus, ensuring those who are more vulnerable to contracting and dying from it are kept safe. On the other hand, I know that jiu jitsu and physical activity can be a comfort for many in uncertain times, and is seen as a form of therapy for some, such as military vets who suffer from PTSD. Also, there were some studies that suggested those in poor health were more likely to die from the virus, and so it would make sense to continue with physical activity to avoid that. And, not to mention that a lot of small gym owners will have to shut their doors with no guarantee that they will open again. In a perfect world there would be enough funding and maybe even some rent freezes to support these gyms as they weather this lockdown, along with supplementary services for those who have been dealing with anxiety and other issues with jiu jitsu- not exactly how this has all played out but as I said, perfect world scenario.
The ban is supposed to start this Friday and go through January 1st, 2021: hopefully the city will see a drop in cases over the next 6 weeks and we can try to reopen again. In the meantime I might try to put a gi on my dog and work on how to deal with a super squirmy opponent….
Have a great day everyone!
September 8, 2020 · 6:28 am
So, I’m not sure what it’s like at the moment in your city, state or country, but for some of us particularly on the East Coast, restrictions are slowly starting to lift and we are getting back to some semblance of training. Yay!
I and several other people have made jokes about going back to the gym and training and basically destroying our bodies. While that to some extent will be true for everyone that had to take some time off, we should also remember to be kind to our bodies: we collectively spent months either attempting to compensate for our lack of jiu jitsu through a variety of other activities in our own homes or with some version of social distancing, or simply not working out but rather taking care of our families and loved ones, or even yet trying to navigate unemployment and other hardships that were brought on by the virus.
For those who can go back to training at this time, great! Please sure to do so as responsibly as possible: I imagine your academy has come up with some safety protocol to keep everyone as safe as possible. Another thing is to make sure to be kind to yourself. As I mentioned we spent this time either trying to compensate for not doing jiu jitsu, or outright not doing anything workout related at all (and for good reason): and as we say, the one thing that’s going to make you better at jiu jitsu, is more jiu jitsu. And as tempting as it is to go whole hog, and try to do “all the things(!!)”, that’s just a recipe for disaster, and may keep you on the side lines for a while as you recover from some injury due to over-enthusiasm.
It can be difficult to be sure, but practice a little self restraint, give yourself some time to ease back into jiu jitsu and I’m sure that you’ll be back to your old schedule in no time.
That’s it for now: have a great day everyone!