You Love ‘em, You Hate ‘em, You Want to Choke them Unconscious
Jiu-jitsu boyfriends and husbands... Amirite?
Honestly speaking, jiu-jitsu relationships in general are such a weird subject. It’s like broccoli; it’s good for you, it has its benefits, but some people just can’t get around to liking it. They’re definitely not for everyone, but when you're in one, it’s one hell of a rollercoaster.
Although some academies would rather not get in on that kind of drama, the amount of time spent together and the closeness this sport brings between people will eventually create inevitable bonds amongst the opposite sexes. Some already married couples join jiu-jitsu together and make it a family thing, while others meet their significant other on the mats. Whatever the case may be, training with your significant other can be the best couple’s therapy, but can also create some inevitable tension.
I was fortunate enough to meet my significant other on the mats. We were friends and teammates for years before we started a relationship. I strongly believe our love for jiu-jitsu has strengthened our relationship, and taken it to heights otherwise not reached were we both not sharing the same sport. But it definitely isn't always rainbows and butterflies. I’ve spoken to other women who share the same experience, and asked them what it’s like to train with their boyfriend/husband. There always seems to be an initial eye roll followed by a “ugh”... (If you know, you know), but at the end, they all come to the conclusion that they wouldn’t change it for the world.
To better break it down for you, based on my experience and on other jiu-jitsu women I’ve asked, here’s a small list of pros and cons of training with a significant other:
● Both of you will always have each other’s best interest and progress in mind, and can push and motivate each other. No one will know more about what it takes to grow in this sport more than someone who lives it. To have your partner understand this fully, always comes in handy.
● At time you may push each other a little too much for you or his patience to handle.
Let’s face it, sometimes rolling gets intense, especially when you’re having a bad training day and the frustration builds. In addition to that, having your rolling partner also be your partner in life, sometimes what they’re doing may come off as just being straight up mean and pushy. This more than often is not the case; but when you’re already frustrated, it’s hard to tell the difference.
● You will always have a readily available drilling partner at home. Especially handy during the pandemic! As well as, you will never disagree about getting some mats for the house.
● Because you already can’t be any closer, there is no filter on the feedback. Both of you will tell each other what you need to hear and not what you want to hear, which sometimes can be hard pills to swallow. But keep in mind that this barely classifies as a con, the harshest truths are the ones that help the most.
● If you’re both competitors, you will ALWAYS have that one person in your corner. No matter what happens, win or learn, they will always have your back, literally and metaphorically. There’s honestly nothing cooler than competing alongside your life partner, both sharing the same goals and drive to achieve your dreams.
● If your significant other happens to not only be your teammate, but your coach or professor, sometimes it will be hard to differentiate between the two. There will be times you want to vent to your partner about how shitty training was, and there will be other times when you will need advice from your coach. It can be pretty tricky for them to know when you need each one.
● Both your idea of “date night” will always be a night on the mats! No argument there.
● Birthday, Christmas, and Valentine ’s Day gifts will always be easy! (Gi’s, gear, tape, and more gear!)
Based on experience and research, there are way more pros than cons to having a jiu-jitsu relationship. You will both develop a bond like no other, but you will also want to choke them unconscious from time to time. Rest assured, no one will understand your crazy obsession with rolling around with sweaty people, more than someone who is crazy enough to do it too.