In Jiu-Jitsu, we like to think that we do not discriminate people on any basis. In most cases, this notion is actually true. Just about anyone can walk through the doors of a BJJ academy and change their life. As long as someone is ready to abide by the basic rules of BJJ etiquette, they’re more than welcome to grappler and learn. Still, among all the categories of people, we see in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on a regular basis, the most impressive person on the mats has to be the BJJ mom. Begin able to train one of the toughest sports in existence and take care of a child? Today we pay tribute to all the Jiu-Jitsu moms out there.
Let’s not kid ourselves, training BJJ, at least as much as most people would like to, is pretty similar to a full-time job. You need to keep up with classes, put in work on drills, live roll, stretch, etc. Then, there’s the homework, lifting weights, running, swimming and the likes. Not to mention looking out for what you eat and keeping an eye on weight. And this is all without even mentioning competition. However, compared to being a mom, whether it is one child or a bunch of them is unthinkably more difficult. Talk about a full-time, 24/7 job! Now imagine a person that is able to do both these jobs at once, and excel at them! Such a person does exist and it is the BJJ mom! The best part about it is that we’re seeing more and more of them around, and we love it!
Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone
One of the fundamental concepts o Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was the notion that Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. From the earliest days of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academies, they wanted to create a system that’ll allow both the professional fighter and stay-at-home mom to train in the same gym at the same time. Suffice to say, BJJ has certainly lived up to such expectations.
Walk into any BJJ academy in the world and you’ll see all kinds of people in there. Very often, you see the young competitor who lives the life of an athlete paired up with your regular Joe that’s in love with the sport for entirely different reasons. Mind you, you might even see that old Joe cause all sorts of trouble for the young athlete. And that is why we all love BJJ so much. It allows us to train with plenty of different people while being able to chase our own goals at the same time, no matter own different they might be.
As an instructor, I really see all kinds of people walking through the door. Of course, some find that Jiu-Jitsu is actually not for them, but that’s only a small number. To be honest, I love the variety BJJ provides when it comes to people training the art. And out of all the people inside an academy, there’s nobody more impressive for me than the BJJ mom. These ladies can not only grapple but are a real force to be reckoned with! Not to mention that they also tend to enroll their kids in class as well, getting them in the sport as early as possible! Jiu-Jitsu is really for everyone, as it seems.
The BJJ Mom – Stongest Among The Strong
What’s so different about being a BJJ mom and just a regular person training Jiu-Jitsu? There’s a lot actually. First of all, a BJJ mom has a much different perspective on things that anyone else training alongside her. Motherhood and grappling actually do share certain similarities. Moreover, they complement each other in a way that makes BJJ moms better at both. One important aspect of motherhood is perspective. The moment a woman gives birth, the priorities change, and children become their whole world. Moreover, the kids look up to their parents, so training is just one aspect of setting a great example.
Then, there’s what BJJ can do for motherhood. Something you might hear a BJJ mom say is that BJJ has made her calmer and more in control of emotions. Furthermore, there’s literally no challenged or obstacle you can’t overcome if you’re used to grappling on a regular basis. And, just like in BJJ, you actually get better at motherhood as time goes by. This is just a small portion of what these two aspects of life share.
So how do you become a BJJ mom? As far as I’ve seen, there are two main ways. One is that women train before they get pregnant and give birth. For this type of women, it is simply a return to BJJ. What usually follows, though, is getting their kids in the academy, watching mommy at first and then giving it a try for themselves! Another way is the actually opposite – moms start training after enrolling their kids. I’ve seen both of these instances and the end result is the same – the women say BJJ really helps them with their parenting!
The Hardest Balancing Act
Before we go into some of the challenges ladies face when they become a BJJ Mom, a word of caution. So far, BJJ has been proven to really help women have a safe and healthy pregnancy. However, always talk to an OBGyn and be sure do dial training way back, with safety being the priority here. That said, ladies have trained pregnant all the way up to delivery without any negative effects!
So, what happens after giving birth? According to the moms I’ve talked with, BJJ really helped them get back in shape quick. But it is not all about the physical. Post-partum anxiety and or depression are very common, and Jiu-Jitsu is a great way of resolving them without too much trouble.
When it comes to the challenges the life of a BJJ mom brings, there are plenty. Balancing everyday life and regular training is already a hassle. Having to care for children is the priority of every mom out there, so that means BJJ will have to take the back seat from time to time. Dedicating the same amount of time to training is simply not an option for most moms. And it is perfectly all right. There’s no need to overstrain, and possibly injure yourself, which may have a negative impact on your parenting. Instead, use BJJ to your advantage, and do not see it as a chore. That is what most of the highly efficient and successful BJJ moms do. Or so they’ve told me.
Trailing should provide a mental break from everyday life, and yeah, that includes children. It is one of the hidden benefits of BJJ. Another is training along with your kid, which is something not every parent can do. Jiu-Jitsu for everyone, right?
As far as every BJJ mom that manages to take care of a family and train goes, they have my utmost respect. When it comes to those that can actually do a regular job as well, they’re something else! Whatever the case, BJJ is the perfect activity to complement motherhood. Whether you’ll train to get back in shape, use BJJ as your “me-time” or go all out competing every chance you get, it will only make you a better mother. Just like being a mother is going to make you a much better Jiu-Jitsu problem solver!