Balancing Work-Life And Training BJJ

A challenge many of us encounter is balancing a full-time job, handling a business, meeting our responsibilities and duties as a family member or a friend, and still finding time to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. To some, this raises the thought of pausing and allocating their time to the deeper priorities in life. BJJ is unique because it is a part of who we are and what we choose to be. BJJ, or martial arts in general, is integral to our overall well-being and development, on and off the mats. Today, we will discuss how to balance work-life and training BJJ.


Life As A Grappler

bjj students rolling

In general, martial artists are built to stand out from the crowd. With the physical and mental improvement and confidence that training brings, people who train in various martial arts are simply built differently. Practitioners, especially competitors, are used to the hardship of training. As they grapple with the other aspects of their lives, the lessons about determination and drive to succeed that comes from years of training and competing become apparent. As John Danaher said, BJJ’s greatest gift to its practitioners is to have the ability to solve problems under stress, especially in today’s stressful world where problems are stacked against us.


Setting Your Priorities Straight

Balancing our work/personal life while still being able to train BJJ can be tricky to some, as we cannot be a jack of all trades most of the time. With limited time, time spent on a task is time lost for another. Not having a work-life balance is understandable, especially if you are in your 20s and looking to create an abundant life ahead of you.  

Getting the good things life offers comes at the cost of working harder than your peers. This is a lesson that all who aspire to be great must learn. Having a work-life balance and still being able to train BJJ ultimately comes down to priority. How do you rank BJJ in your list of priorities? Are you working a full-time job while studying at a university? Are you a businessman handling multiple businesses? Are you a parent working multiple jobs? If so, BJJ may come third on your list, behind your source of income and familial responsibilities. No matter our hectic schedule, we give time to what seems higher on our priority list.

Remember that no matter how deeply we want to uplift the world around us, never forget to spend time for yourself, especially if you’re deeply passionate about certain hobbies or things. Some practitioners, like Mark Zuckerberg, find time and train early in the morning, giving them the energy needed to overcome tasks they encounter throughout the day. In contrast, others train in the evening or during their lunchtime. While BJJ positively affects our lifestyle, are you willing to move things around so that you can find time to train?


Testing Your Limits

Taking the necessary steps to build yourself is empowering. We may sometimes feel overwhelmed as we get bombarded with different responsibilities at work and in life.

“All limits are self-imposed.” –  Icarus

A piece of advice sometimes given in therapy is to take on more responsibilities when we feel overwhelmed. Doing so puts you in “survival” mode, thereby forcing you to smash all tasks that come your way. Training yourself to enter these states can make you more efficient and motivated. The idea is to slowly use progressive overload so that you’ll become more efficient with completing duties over time. Admittedly, this approach may only work for some, but it is worth checking out.


Time Management

Time management is an essential skill, especially when balancing our personal lives. This means you must effectively use your time well and not spend it on things that will bring you no good. As soon as you wake up, avoid scrolling mindlessly on social media and instead use the time to work out or go to a BJJ class. Try to limit your downtime as much as possible. We only have 24 hours a day, so it is always a smart move to use our time wisely.

Another great option that you can do is to share your passion with family and friends. Who knows, your best friend might one day become your trusted training partner on the mats. With time at a premium, sharing common interests with your tribe is not a bad idea at all. 


Specificity In Training


To improve the quality of your training, you must set a specific goal for each training session. Having a full-time job while managing other life responsibilities might limit your training time every week. With this limitation in mind, you might want to focus on just a few techniques every week to maximize learning. Another option is to focus on just one grappling style (Gi or No-Gi) for a few months. Whatever you decide to do, stay consistent with your training schedule and take notes if you can. Always be open to reviewing your training activity every couple of weeks, and adjust if there’s a need to do so.


BJJ Is an Investment

“The ideal citizen is the scholar-athlete, the man of thought and the man of action.” – Plato

It is not enough to be an expert in one aspect of life. We must strive to be strong not only in the mind but also in the body. The mats teach us many things about ourselves. The lessons you learn in training BJJ will help improve your decision-making, make you more immune to stress, and ultimately transform you into a tougher individual. BJJ is indeed an investment in every sense of the word. 



Life is a balancing act, and we must do our best to make do with the cards we have on hand. We encourage you to assess your schedule and optimize it as best as possible. 

If you want to train in Jiu-Jitsu, please check your local academies and see if their training programs fit your time and budget. We guarantee that you’ll enjoy your stay on the mats.

How do you balance your life and BJJ training? We’d love to know your thoughts!


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