Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter Cascao Vital. He runs Cascao Evolution BJJ out of Las Vegas nv.
Lets be 100% honest, we all know of a training partner or two who was once committed and consistent with their training and suddenly they drop off the face of the earth when it comes to BJJ. More often then not, it is due to them having a partner that is really not that supportive with their BJJ lifestyle. For all of us looking in from the outside, it doesn’t make sense, and if you’re the one actually in the relationship, you just can’t figure out a way to train and keep the home life strong and supportive. There is hope though. With a few strategies and a little effort, you can not only be back on the mats, but encouraged and supported to go.
The first thing you have to do is have a sit down talk with your partner. This is the moment that you communicate how important BJJ is to you. You let them know that not only is it a healthy physical activity, but it helps you handle life’s stresses easier, it teaches you self defense, it builds character, and it’s a fun way to hang out with your buddies that doesn’t involve getting drunk at a bar. The bottom line is that you are a better husband, wife, parent and friend when you have something positive in your life like martial arts. Letting them know this is the first step to them understanding your perspective. Otherwise they might think its just you rolling around with other sweaty dudes while ignoring them at home.
Now we can’t just be all talk, we have to show action as well. One way to do that is to let them know that you love spending time with them. No worse feeling for your partner then having them think that something is more important to you then them. Have fun creative date nights that include everything from dinner and the movies, to going shooting at the range or even rock climbing shows them that time together is fun too. Taking a class off once in a while to surprise them with a home cooked dinner will really show them that they do take priority over the mats. And never forget, thanking them regularly for their support with your training is necessary and will also keep them feeling appreciated.
You also have to give back the support you love from them so much. That means that if your partner is hitting the gym working out, you must support and encourage. If your partner has a trail race or marathon they are training for, show them your support and excitement. Have a smoothie ready for them when they get back from the training session, buy them a workout magazine that is themed around their goals, and tell them how proud and impressed you are by their hard work and effort. After a hard training session, surprise them by giving them a massage, because who wouldn’t love that?
Most of the time that I encounter a situation with an unsupportive partner, it’s usually due to a couple of reasons. One is that they do not feel they are getting enough quality time and attention form their spouse. Number two, they lack any hobbies or passionate interests themselves, therefor they don’t understand your passion. Or number three, they feel threatened and jealous with your energy and time spent away from them. Communicate with them on how important BJJ is to you and the benefits it brings to your life. Put time and effort into spending fun quality time with them so they also feel like a priority, and give support back to them in whatever endeavor they choose. You will be amazed at how well people respond to these strategies and tactics. See you on the mats, ossss.