5 Ways To Give Back To Jiu-Jitsu…

Photo By: Bianca Marisa Garcia

I’ve read and written a lot about how much jiu jitsu helps us practitioners.  I’ve seen so many articles and anecdotes about jiu jitsu helping people cope with all sorts of life situations from physical disabilities to depression to simply helping us be in shape.  Jiu Jitsu gives us something truly special.  What can we do to give back to jiu jitsu?

  1. Help the new person out.  I know it sucks, I know that sometimes new people are super spazzy and think they know everything.  Help them anyways.  Impart whatever knowledge you have to them.  However, be sure to only focus on things that are helpful.  Trying to teach the new guy a complex omoplata sequence may be counterproductive.  Help new people learn fundamentals right the first time around…
  2. Represent the sport well.  By this I mean through your behavior.  I’ve seen people from white to black belt behave poorly.  I’ve seen black belts behave in a manner that, if I were considering doing BJJ, would discourage me from ever starting.  If you do BJJ you represent something bigger than yourself, act like it.  Be kind.  Be respectful.  Know that your skills, while they mean you have the ability to fight better than most, also mean you shouldn’t be in situations that result in fights.  Be the kind of person that makes other people say “whatever they’re doing I want to do it too!”
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously…  Very often as people gain rank or skill their ego starts to inflate.  They start to take themselves very seriously.  They get offended when lower belts are able to tap them and if God forbid anyone says anything they don’t like, they take offense to it and feel the need to start mini-feuds.  How often do we hear the word “Politics” associated with jiu jitsu?  There should be no politics, only love of the art.
  4. Know who you’re rolling with.  Injuries are very common and very often the cause of injuries is simple lack of awareness.  If you are rolling with someone much smaller, older, weaker etc than you, be aware of it and adjust how you roll.  For example if I roll with someone who has a similar or lower technical level but is at a 40+ pound deficit, I work on my defense rather than trying to fine tune my offense.  I have nothing to prove when rolling at the gym, and if you feel like you have something to prove you’re going to roll the wrong way and someone might get hurt.
  5. Enjoy yourself.  This may sound trite and obvious but very often people find themselves in a rut, not enjoying their time on the mat.  If you don’t love jiu jitsu, you’ll eventually get sick of it and lose interest.  Jiu jitsu has a high attrition rate, and the reason is that a lot of people don’t find ways to make it enjoyable.   Find training partners who make rolling fun, and roll with them!

What are some ways you’ve found that you can give back to jiu jitsu?

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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio (www.strongstyle.com) and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/. Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (www.Meerkatsu.com, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo (www.Northcoast-Cryo.com) NottaRookie, YM (www.cbdyoume.com discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap (www.defensesoap.com discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards (www.impactmouthguards.com discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


  1. Wow. Just what kind of a world are we living in where someone can come along and start spewing Common Sense Advice that may actually be useful? Just…wow…. 🙂


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