Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is tough as it already is, but what if your vision is bad? What if, in order to function in your day-to-day life, you need to wear glasses?
A lot of people have poor eyesight, across all walks of life, and still they continue training their beloved sports. However, Jiu Jitsu is a martial art, and so… Shouldn’t it be difficult to continue (or start) training it, much more than some other sports?
Well, it doesn’t have to be. It all depends on how you approach this issue; here’s how to train BJJ if your eyesight sucks.
WEAR GLASSES DURING TECHNIQUE DEMONSTRATION
One of the approaches that you can take is to continue wearing your regular glasses during training; albeit only during technique demonstration.
The procedure is simple enough. While your coach is demonstrating techniques, wear them. However, when you’re warming up, doing bodyweight exercises, and rolling – you should take them off, so that they don’t get squashed and so that you don’t injure your eyes.
Just have the case for the glasses nearby. As soon as the demonstration is done with, put your glasses into it, and place the case somewhere safe – so that nobody sits on it or similar.
WEAR CONTACT LENSES
The next „tool“ that you can use to aid your bad-eyesight-BJJ-journey is to ditch the glasses completely during training, and exchange them for contact lenses.
Rolling with contact lenses doesn’t bring the same, expensive glass-shattering dangers that glasses bring with themselves. You won’t have to be as careful when you’re rolling with lenses, which means that more of your attention and focus shall be directed towards the techniques themselves – not protection of your pricey eyewear.
However, contact lenses can roll back into your eye or fall off to the dirty mats… Which can make them a kind of a nuisance to roll with. Having to stop sporadically, to fix your lenses, or to go and wash them in the bathroom – it kind of kills the vibe of rolling.
Therefore, contact lenses may be a good choice. But not necessarily so.
PROTECTIVE SPORTS GLASSES
You may want to step it up a notch and wear protective sports glasses, such as those ones that are often seen in team sports. These ones sure are sturdier than the regular ones, and you’ll feel much less fear while rolling in them.
However, you’ll still have issues while rolling with them. Especially when, in the heat of the battle, they get foggy… Which beats their purpose and increases your stress levels to the max!
SO… WHAT’S THE BEST SOLUTION?
The best solution, actually, may come down to not wearing anything at all, despite your poor eyesight. You see (pun intended), Jiu Jitsu isn’t like boxing, muay thai, or some of the other martial arts where there can be quite some distance between you and your opponent. BJJ is a close proximity martial art, where – if you have your grips – you’re pretty much set up.
In other words, in Jiu Jitsu, you actually don’t need vision! A lot of Jiujiteiros (especially higher ranks, but lower ranks as well) like to roll with their eyes closed; as it helps them develop more of a feel for their and their opponent’s body positioning. You can find out more about the benefits of rolling with eyes closed on this article. Also, there are some blind grapplers who are extremely successful on the mats.
Vision is a plus in BJJ, not a necessity. Feel free to use your glasses for watching technique demonstrations; but roll without any eyesight support. It will work!