Okay, enough is enough. We’re all aware that it was tight out there for a moment, but luckily, we’re slowly getting the hang of this Covid-19 situation. As it seems, the virus is not far from tapping out, which means life can return to normal, or close enough to it. While many things won’t be the same, the BJJ world will certainly recover, as training Jiu-jitsu is the one thing that everyone who grapplers misses more than anything else. the end is near, though, if indications of what’s happening in Europe are anything to go by.
It was a wild few months. Actually it still is. I haven’t trained any Jiu-jitsu (apart from some solo drills) since the middle of March. In the past 9 years, injuries included, this is getting near to the most I’ve gone without BJJ. And for most p[eople in the BJJ world out there, it is much the same. As we’ve seen online classes and solo drills can only go so far to satisfy our thirst for grappling. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a contact sport and with social distancing the min measure of beating the Covid-19 outbreak, this became impossible. Luckily, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, we just need to keep driving safely towards it.
Getting A Grasp On the Covid-19 Pandemic
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has taken a hard hit during the globar Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from a handful of schools in certain locations, all gyms worldwide, from local 30- people gyms to the biggest academies in the BJJ world have closed their doors. And it has been going for a while now. The situation in the USA is still not stable, but the peak is near. If indications from other countries, mainly in Europe are anything to go by, social distancing and isolation, as har as they are, work great in squashing the virus’ spread.
In the recent couple fo week, we seem to have got a grasp on the Covid-19 outbreak. or, at least all the things we did worldwide seem to be panning out about now. Social distancing, wearing face masks, staying at home and all the other measures were hard to comply with. obviously, they worked, so we shouldn’t complain. In fact, the rest we got was probably something most of us needed, especially those that haven’t taken a break in years. Injuries seem to have held up, some bad habits we might have had are hopefully gone, and we’re all itching to get back on the mats.
However, we’ll need to take several things into account before simply going back and pretending as nothing happened. In fact, that is the worst thing we can do. We can’t just rush back in and resume business as usual. As much as both BJJ gym owners and students would like to do it, it won’t be possible. We’rep probably still a month, or even two away from actually being able to train a gym. In fact, lockdown will ease in stages, and we should all use it to prepare for an easy return to daily grappling and rolling.
What To Focus On: BJJ Coaches And Instructors
For all you coaches out there, returning to BJJ can’t come soon enough. I completely understand. However, there’s a lot of responsibility on our shoulders as the BJJ world flocks back to the mats. The virus is still going to be up and about and we’ll have to re-open with introducing certain measures that have not been a mainstay of BJJ gyms before.
Basically, for starters, you need to know if anyone from the gym was positive or in close contact with someone positive for the Covid-19 virus. This is not something people would share in a poll, so you’ll need to actually talk to each and every student individually, either over social media or by phone. If you have too many students to do so, all on your other coaches to help you out. You simply have to know if anyone would be coming to the gym, potentially carrying the virus.
You also have to know which are the so-called “sensitive” groups. Elderly people, people with chronic illnesses, particularly on the respiratory system, etc, will need to stay at home, at last, a bit longer.
In terms of the gym itself, disinfection is going to be huge everywhere we go. A wall-mounted hand sanitizer is a must, as well as providing clean and new flip flops. Hygiene in the gym will have to go up tenfold, meaning pre and post-training definitions, and perhaps, even quick ones in between groups.
In terms of organizing classes, this is where most of us have been scratching our head.s going back to the curriculum where we left off is a no-go. People have lost timing, the sense of movement, and grappling specific coordination. it nothing major, but significant enough. Also, everyone will be itching to roll. This means that flow rolling, or specific drilling sessions should be the only things we do when getting back, at least for an initial couple of weeks. Only then can we go back to some fundamentals before trying to resume, or starting a new curriculum.
A Few Pointers For Returning Students
And by students, I mean all fo use. Even those coaching are still going to be students of the Gentle Art. Now, the most important thing is going back to BJJ and not getting injured. What I expect to happen if people are left to do what they want. is that a majority of people returning will again an injury of sorts in the first week back. And, older students and higher belts are the “sensitive category” here.
In terms of what you need to do once you’re back on the mats, there’ nothing more important than pacing yourself. While it may not seem so in your mind, your body is not as fine-tuned to grappling as it was was a couple of months ago. A lot of the timing of moves is going to be off, for example, So are basic things like a good base, maintaining effortless posture, or simply moving with purpose during scrambles. And no, no amount of solo drill will help you compensate.
When you go back to rolling, do ti slowly. In fact, do every aspect of training very carefully, starting with the warm-up. If classes are set up for a safe return and you’re mindful of what you’re doing, you’ll be fine.
In case you want to get ready, as there’ still possibly a month before we can roll, this is the perfect time to put that sandwich down, and start to get some conditioning back. Do whatever you want, run, hike, lift weights, bodyweight exercises, etc, but do not think that you can just return to Jiu-Jitsu completely out of shape. The BJJ world will be different after the Covid-19 experience, so make sure your body is ready for what lies ahead.
Will The BJJ World Ever Be The Same?
I guess time will tell. For now, the BJJ world wil definitely have to adjust. Actually, I do think there will still be restrictions which will most likely restrict the number of students that can be on the mats at eth same time. this means more groups, a different appraoch to training, and a lot more time in the gym for instructors. However, this Covid-19 pandemic might just turn out positive, as perhaps restructuring our approach to BJJ is the next logical step in the sport’s evolution.