So with summer winding down and the kids back in school , we felt it was time for a new post regarding the day in and day out of living with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and one of the things i hear a lot is , when , how and why should i take a break ? Well , if you are in the hunt for a competition win or medal and will d anything it takes to make it happen the answer can only be within you , how bad do you want glory versus taking breaks to heal or to spend time with family and friends. I had decided to take the summer off from training ( which is why the last post was published back in July ) , to catch up with old friends , focus on school and work related training and to let my body heal.
Being the casual BJJ’er we get to enjoy all of the things life has to offer, and B JJ is also part of that enjoyment. If i had decided to compete and had the desire to win at all costs, i might not be able to use BJJ as a long term form of healthy living. Being a BJJ practitioner means not only having the desire to learn new techniques but also to live a healthy lifestyle. Rener Gracie strongly promotes the Gracie Diet and not only promotes it but he also practices what he preaches. Helio Gracie trained well into his 90’s and up to his untimely death due to sickness, he was still on the mat.
This is my vision of training, learning and growing with the sport , to be able to make BJJ a part of my life well into old age , because once you dedicate yourself to the sport as a life long practitioner, you not only have to take breaks, but you may NEED to take breaks to let the body heal, to let your techniques marinate into your mind and be one with the muscle memory and body movement.
Rickson Gracie once said from the movie Choke ,” You must allow yourself to go as like an automatic pilot. You don’t know exactly where you’re going until the movement happens. Because you cannot anticipate what’s going to happen. You must allow yourself to be in a zero point, in a neutral point and be relaxed and connected with the variations. You pretty much flow with the go. This is a point beyond the knowledge. It’s years and years of playing around, giving this kind of sensibility.” The part that intrigued me the most is the part where he says it is years and years of playing around that gives you this kind of sensibility. The years and years part means that to get good at BJJ or anything for that matter you must be able to do it over and over over the course of time , and most of the time when BJJ practitioners always go hard when training or do it as often as they possibly can, injuries can happen, once injuries happen and they begin to build up, the focus stops being on training and starts being on recovery.
If you are young and healthy with great health insurance and have the drive to become a successful BJJ fighter, then we say absolutely go for your dream , let nothing get in your way of achieving that dream , but if you want to use BJJ as a means for health and wellness and to live the lifestyle for the long term , you may want to look into the longevity of the sport. Bjj is not a sprint , it is a marathon and the more you train over the long term , the happier you may become, but you also must be careful, listen to your body, avoid unhealthy food and surround yourself with people like you.
So when you have to , take a break!
Take care ladies and gentlemen and keep training !