Does Your Significant Other Hate BJJ?

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Most of us have some type of social life outside of BJJ and that includes being in a relationship with a girl who doesn’t do it.

Those guys who have BJJ girlfriends are often the envy of their training partners, who have less…errr…supportive girlfriends or wives. Having someone who understands your passion for BJJ will avoid some of the conflicts that arise when class is competing for time with your girl.

Personally I was fine with various girlfriends not being interested in BJJ, as I enjoyed having an activity that was my own. It is good to have your own interests and friends. It does help to be with a girl who places value on physical fitness, though, as she will be more understanding of many of your nutritional choices and why you have aches and pains from jiu-jitsu.

That said, I enjoyed the contrast of talking jiu-jitsu with my training partners and then spending time with a girl and talking about different topics. It provided balance to my life.

Not every guy is fortunate enough to have a girl who understands a BJJ addict. To be fair, the idea of spending hours hanging around a bunch of dudes with questionable hygiene and rolling around on the ground in pajamas seems pretty bizarre to those looking in on the jiu-jitsu subculture.

The guys who seem to experience the most problems with their girls and BJJ have a few different causes it seems.

Lack Of Understanding

The guy picked a girl who doesn’t understand the commitment to a hobby or an athletic discipline. She sees it as unnecessary because it isn’t part of her life. It may be simply a matter of incompatible interests and values.

She is a drinks-out-with-friends type. Having never pursued goals in a sport herself she can not relate to what it takes to get good at jiu-jitsu. I’ve met girls who themselves were into yoga or other sports and understood the value of it.


In a few unfortunate cases, the girl is just plain jealous that her guy seems more interested in spending time at BJJ than with her. It becomes a case of ‘it’s either BJJ or me!” followed by you saying, “I’m sure going to miss her!”

One of my instructors said that some girls in Brazil didn’t like to date jiu-jitsu guys because they knew that the guys would always want to hang out at the academy with their friends.

Family Obligations 

Because of work, some people¬†don’t have enough time in a week to do all of the things that deserve their attention. Add a young family into the equation and frankly I don’t know how they manage to get to the academy as often as they do!

It is predictable that their partner is not happy when he grabs his gym bag to head out to the academy all of the time.

This is going to require some maneuvering to satisfy all of those obligations before thinking of going to BJJ class!

So how does a guy balance his love for jiu-jitsu with his wife or girlfriend’s happiness?

Does your significant other love or hate that you do jiu-jitsu?

Sound off below or in this article’s Facebook thread.


  1. Hm, I’m a woman who train BJJ, but my husband doesn’t. He has his own hobbies and it’s all good. Some of the guys I train with will often use their wives or girlfriend as “excuses” for not hanging out, or why they didn’t come to training the other day. It’s an easy excuse that noone will question further or bother you about. I’ve used it sometimes myself when I just couldn’t be bothered hanging out or when I’m too busy, I just say “oh, sorry I can’t, the boss at home says I have to be home for dinner” or something like that.

  2. I’m also a woman who trains BJJ and my (male) partner does not. He did a lot of wrestling earlier in his life, however, so he gets how important it is to put in the time at the gym/on the mat. I’m pretty new to BJJ, and have recently started ramping up my time at the gym. I’m very very lucky to have a partner who does not resent this one bit. I do make the effort to check in with him, make sure he’s still feeling good about us and not bothered by the time I put into BJJ. As long as we keep communication open and make an effort to have some quality time together, it all falls into place. I do recognize, however, that not all people have partners as understanding and laid back as mine. Like I said, I’m very lucky.


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