5 Reasons Why I Love That My Partner Also Does BJJ
Pre-Valentines Day guest post with Jen Z
There’s been plenty written about the predatory culture often found in martial arts, and jiu-jitsu has not been immune to this toxicity. A quick Google search reveals plenty of schools and celebrated players and coaches who have abused their power and sexually preyed upon their students. As a community, we can all agree that we can and should do better, creating safe training environments and putting an end to this sickening behavior.
But that is not what this article is about. On the contrary, this is about healthy, consenting relationships that can start on the mat and continue well beyond it. Over the years I have witnessed and even experienced true, serious loving partnerships and relationships in jiu-jitsu, relationships between consenting adults who are together because of genuine attraction and appreciation, not an abuse of power.
When you are so passionate about a hobby or sport, and you dedicate hours a week to that passion that is shared by so many, the odds are good that you’ll find someone who enjoys it as much as you do. This can be the start of great friendships, and, of course, strong relationships.
I am lucky enough to be one of those people. Jiu-jitsu has been such a huge part of my life for the past 11 years, and for a long time, I actually referred to it as the true love of my life - until I actually met the actual love of my life. It feels like all is right in the world because my husband is a black belt, who has trained for close to 20 years, and has owned a martial arts school for more than 13. We’re pretty close in size, so we are great training partners! We didn’t wear gis to the wedding, but there was a symbolic moment where both my coach, along with my cousin who officiated the ceremony, tied a black belt around our hands before we turned and walked down the aisle together.
There are a lot of pros to getting a partner who trains. I know some people may want to keep the sport all to themselves, and having a partner who doesn’t train isn’t a deal-breaker, but I have been in a marriage where my partner did not train, and for me, I definitely prefer the current state of things.
With that, here are my top five reasons (in no particular order) why I love that my partner trains BJJ:
Competing, teaching, or training, we know jiu-jitsu has its highs and lows. Having the support of a partner who understands both the frustrations and appreciates the accomplishments is priceless. They respect and know how much hard work goes into achieving your goals and what it truly takes behind the scenes.
Automatic Training Partner
This may or may not work depending on your partner’s size, but at any seminar, class, or open mat where you need a buddy, you’ve got one! Trying to avoid someone you don’t want to train with? We’ve all been there. You always have a partner. Maybe you ate too soon before training and feel a little bloated? Who better than your partner to take the risk and roll with you? LOL Also, you have a live-in drilling partner available 24/7. Pretty great if you ask me!
Vacations include training! No fights about not understanding why they’d want to go train when on vacation. Heck, we trained two out of the five days on our honeymoon. It’s great to explore new destinations while meeting new people on the mats and learning new techniques.
We get to choke each other out. Need I say more? Honestly, though, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies training with your significant other. You may be in a bad mood, super stressed, maybe ticked off at each other, or whatever. Getting some training time with different training partners may just be what the doctor ordered, but then it brings you both back to a better state after training. I’m not saying BJJ replaces couple’s therapy, but it’s a great outlet for built-up tension.
“Let’s Watch FloGrappling”
We get to hang and watch BJJ with someone who gets it! One time I said something like “Sorry, I know we’ve watched World’s all weekend but there’s so many more matches I wanted to watch.” And he was like, “Really? You want to just hang on the couch and watch awesome grappling all weekend? I’m in!” When it comes to hanging with your best friend and partner, it doesn’t get much better than that.
These are just a few of my favorite things about training with my partner. Now I’m sure you may be thinking there have to be some cons to this deal. And yes there are. Double the laundry and Jay Ferrari’s frames are a pain in my ass.
What’s your favorite aspect of having a partner who trains? I would love to know! Do tell :)
Jennifer Zanotti-Ferrari is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Jeff Serafin, a gym owner, personal trainer, nutrition coach, podcaster, and blogger. If you’d like to get in touch with Jen, check out her links here.
I also highly recommend you check out her newsletter, The Jen Z Blog, which comes out every Friday.