While Jiu Jitsu may not be addictive in the traditional sense, it is a fun and rewarding sport that can easily make you crave more. Fortunately, there are very few negative side effects to a Jiu Jitsu addiction, as long as you are OK with occasional full-body aches, and an unconventional social life. Whether you just started training, or you’ve been on the mats for years, here are a few signs that you are addicted to Jiu Jitsu.
Greetings are never the same
A sure sign that you are addicted to Jiu Jitsu is the complete shift in your normal behavior outside of the academy. When you’re on the mats all the time, gym life begins to bleed into real life.
Anytime someone reaches their hand out for a shake, your instincts kick in. What would have been a formal greeting has become the signature slap/bump. Hopefully, you can resist following up the slap/bump with a submission.
If your greetings are less formal and you see a loved one coming in for a hug, you might skip the friendly nature of the slap/bump and go right for the double underhooks.
Perhaps you could not manage to get double underhooks in time. It turns out that your great aunt has a tighter grip than you anticipated. Never fear. Some light pummeling should help you secure your position.
Cuddling is competitive
Your constant training has taught you one thing. There is no situation that Jiu Jitsu doesn’t enhance. Just because you are off the mats, does not mean the battle ends. After a long day of training and you begin to wind down with your significant other, they need to know that you roll for the win.
Big spoon will be an optimal position. Be sure to secure your hooks. Try to avoid choking your partner, though. If you are the designated little spoon, you have already given up valuable positioning. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t work for an advantage. However, if you have a strategy to win a cuddling session, you should probably leave the Jiu Jitsu on the mats.
Everyone in your friend group does Jiu Jitsu
Here is a quick activity you can do to determine the level of your BJJ addiction. In your head, think through your main friend groups. Maybe you have your coworkers, your old college buddies, or even your neighbors.
How many of them train Jiu Jitsu? If the answer is “most” or “all,” then it’s safe to say you have a fairly solid group of friends. If the answer is “none of them,” it may be time to start cutting toxic people out of your life.
After all, between your academy, tournaments, and those shady gi manufacturers sliding into your DM’s, you’ll have plenty of fun and colorful characters to choose from.
You routinely explain black eyes and bruises to coworkers
You’ve had some pretty rough training sessions lately. Unfortunately, the evidence of it always shows on your face and neck. Explaining your black eye is easy enough, and even gives you a little bit of street cred.
However, the “gi hickey” on your neck is a different story. Last night’s class was focused on collar chokes and now you have suspicious red marks all over your neck. No matter the explanation, you’ll always be met with that “uh huh, sure,” look from your coworkers.
But, the joke is on them when you explain that you actually got those marks from your buddy last night when you were rolling around choking each other!
Your version of celebrity gossip is more dangerous
As Jiu Jitsu slowly enters the mainstream, the community has produced its own brand of celebrities. But, when these celebrities have drama they can usually settle it on the mat or in the cage. When they can’t, we find ourselves tuning in for Twitter wars and passive-aggressive Instagram stories.
As your Jiu Jitsu addiction deepens, you’ll have trolled every Jiu Jitsu subreddit and the pages of the most controversial BJJ athletes. Unfortunately, Gordon Ryan’s latest rant isn’t exactly the most exciting water cooler talk anywhere but the academy.
Life used to be so simple. Sure, laundry was never exciting, but it was easy, and you got the satisfaction of clean, crisp clothes after.
Now, as a full-time Jiu Jitsu addict, every other load is dedicated to two gis, four rash guards and 3 pairs of shorts. And that’s just from open mat. Sometimes, you may find yourself buying gear for each day you train, just to stay ahead of the laundry pile.
Every single gi and rash guard requires care and attention. Should this go in the dryer? Do I still separate whites and colors? Will washing my belt erase my years of Jiu Jitsu knowledge? There are loads of considerations for the Jiu Jitsu player doing laundry. But there are even more loads of laundry to do, so get to it!
Holidays and gym closures can’t stop you from training
When the holidays roll around it is important to spend time with your loved ones. But, are they really going to notice if you’re gone for an hour…or two? Perhaps the height of Jiu Jitsu addiction is revealed by the lengths some will go to train through the holiday season.
The gym group chat will be ringing all day as you try to figure out when you’re training, who actually has a key to the academy, and if you all can actually escape the house unnoticed. We all know how hectic the holidays can be. It’s probably better to let off steam rolling with your training partners instead of slapping a heel hook onto that creepy mall Santa.
Saying Oss Unironically
Much like your Jiu Jitsu, it all started as a joke. You shout “Oss!” after everything your professor says and hopefully you get a few laughs from the other Jiu Jitsu nerds.
However, after a while, the exclamation ends every one of your sentences during class time. You don’t even notice it at this point. As a matter of fact, you don’t even know what it means!
It doesn’t matter. Your transformation into “Jiu Jitsu Bro” is complete. You now use the word outside of the academy in casual conversation. It’s not all bad, though. Throw in a well-placed shaka, and your normal friends will just assume you’re cultured, or well-traveled.
Jiu Jitsu isn’t the worst thing to be “addicted” to. But, it can definitely feel like your skills are withering away every second you’re off the mats. Be sure to closely monitor these signs and others to know if you’re truly addicted to Jiu Jitsu.
Jeremy is brown belt and has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, but he also enjoys creative writing. Originally from Connecticut, where he began his 11 years of Jiu Jitsu training.