I talked a friend of mine into trying her first Brazilian jiu-jitsu class last night. After class, we texted back and forth a little bit, and she said how amazing it felt to unplug and shut out everything going on her life off the mat. I can definitely identify with this, and I know so many others can too.
Unplugging is one of my favorite things about jiu-jitsu. It takes so much mental focus that I’m able to forget everything else while I’m training. There have been periods of turmoil in my life where I used jiu-jitsu as my only means to stay sane. I’ve always considered by training as a healthy coping mechanism, and encouraged others to do the same.
For some reason last night, I got almost no sleep. My head was spinning, and I was brought back time and time again to that period of turmoil in my life. I woke up feeling drained, emotional, and confused. “I’ve moved past this! Why is it popping back up now?”
Ironically, I came across this Chewjitsu video this morning. It sums it up perfectly as black belt Nick Albin “Chewy” explains that treating jiu-jitsu as a numbing agent for your pain and negative emotions isn’t actually a good thing. Just like any substance, jiu-jitsu can only keep you unplugged for so long. Eventually, life off the mat will catch back up no matter how hard you train.
BJJ is definitely worth keeping in your “coping mechanism toolbox”, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you use. Check out more of Chewy’s advice in the video below!
What other forms of coping work for you?