Not everyone who is truly passionate about BJJ is a top level competitor. The culture has many different ways that its fans can shine. There are some activities that jiujiteiros should consider exploring to fully enjoy their BJJ lifestyle:
- Blogging/writing. The internet is full of opinions, in BJJ there are a finite number of good blogs. If you are a decent writer, start chronicling your thoughts. If you are able to get a lot of readers, you know that you are giving back to the community in your own way.
- Drawing. Guys like Meerkatsu and Gawakoto are at the very forefront of BJJ related art. If you are a talented artist, start making sketches of your thoughts about BJJ. Maybe youll find that your sketches look like they would look cool on a shirt or a rash guard. Maybe you talk to a brand owner. Maybe youll be the next big BJJ artist
- Music. Eddie Bravo and Ralek Gracie have both written songs about Jiu Jitsu. Internet Hip Hop sensation Mac Lethal trains BJJ and mentions it in his raps. If you are a musician, write a song about an aspect of your Jiu Jitsu experience, it may not hit the Billboard top 100 but its another way to give back to the community.
- Start a brand. There are a finite number of gi brands, and many areas dont have a local gi brand owner. If you provide a decent product and good customer service, youll be able to give back to your community. One of my teammates owns Furacao Kimonos, and he has already been commissioned around this area to make custom gis. The process isnt necessarily easy, but there is a huge benefit to having someone who sells a quality product right here in town. Generally the best thing to do is to start exploring options of factories overseas. Also talk to your future competition (other gi brand owners). They tend to be generous with information, theres enough business to go around. Most brand owners are also BJJ fanatics. Hit up Furacao if you are looking for a new gi, their products are awesome! http://furacao-kimonos.myshopify.com/ Or Our Shop. Also my sponsors are great grassroots brands started by fellow BJJ Lovers www.ponyclubgrapplinggear.com and www.cruzcmbt.com.
- Start a tournament. Many areas have a real lack of good tournaments. If you have the resources needed (funds, manpower, a venue etc ), perhaps one of the best ways to give back to your BJJ community is to provide an avenue for your areas competitors to compete. Like starting a gi brand, this is not going to be an easy journey, but it can be very rewarding. Some of the very best tournaments Ive gone to were ones run by local instructors who wanted a good place for their guys to compete.
When it comes to enjoying and benefitting from BJJ outside of the competition scene, be creative. Be active on social media to find out what opportunities exist. And, most importantly, have fun and enjoy what youre doing! What are some ways you have found to give back to your BJJ community?
Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear and Cruz Combat. 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/