Coming Back from a Hiatus

Sometimes we just have to take time off of training.  This can be a result of many possible factors including injury, personal loss, new job, a move to a new area and the list goes on.  Very few people go their entire jiu jitsu career without ever taking time off…

For starters, if you do take time off, when you re-involve yourself make sure you jump right back in.  If you try to ease back into training, there’s a good chance you’ll never get back to the level you were before you stopped.  I’ve seen it happen: someone trains 6 days a week then takes 3 months off for whatever reason, when they come back the start off by only training 2 or 3 days a week, they can never really catch up to how they felt when they trained 6 days a week…

Don’t wait to be in good shape again.  I was recently talking to someone who has taken a long time off of training and has gotten badly out of shape, he thinks that he should get back into shape before stepping back on the mat, namely because before he stopped training he was a force to be reckoned with.  You’re better off getting back into shape while re-sharpening those skills , you’re better off being fat and rusty than being in good shape and rusty, it’s less embarrassing if you can blame it on being fat…

When you do get back to it, make sure you don’t hurt yourself.  Because your body simply won’t be at the level it was while you were training, your chances of hurting yourself after a hiatus are higher.  Roll with people you can trust, and roll at a level that is acceptable to you.  If you’re coming back off of an injury make sure anyone you roll with knows about it so they can stay away from it.  When I roll with someone who is coming back from an injury I generally make a point of rolling at a pace that I know will push them but won’t hurt them.  I communicate with them, and make sure that they are okay with how I am rolling.  Otherwise, there’s a good chance of re-injury…

Be patient.  You won’t be as good as you were before taking time off, don’t expect yourself to be, and don’t be hard on yourself.  Coming back after taking time off is difficult but is necessary if you want to continue on your jiu jitsu journey.

Time taken off for whatever reason will make you appreciate your time on the mat more, so when you do step back on the mat focus on that as a positive, it’ll make the numerous negatives seem less important.  It’s tough, but you need to do it!

For anyone out there who has had to take time off, do you have any input for people facing time off?  What has YOUR experience been?


  1. I suggest keeping your mind active, a good way to get over the no training blues.
    I recently have had 4 months off because of an injury and was really missing training so I subscribed to a couple of bjj training websites, watch the videos and mentally kept training while I took some time off to physically heal.


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