BJJ Relationships – Training at Different Gyms

Now that Valentine’s Day is out of the way I thought that it was finally time to blog about one of the unique aspects of my BJJ life.

My husband trains at a different gym to me and when we do train together we very rarely roll together and only drill.

Now a lot of people have found this really odd and it is one of the things that we find ourselves explaining frequently.  Especially to people who don’t realise we’re at different gyms until they see us at competition with different patches etc. So in this blog I’m going to cover how it happened, why it works for us and essentially my reasons for choosing a different gym?

It suited my needs
My hubby started BJJ before me. My interest in it came much later through my Thai Boxing. I was struggling to get fights so I wanted to transition to MMA which meant I reluctantly admitted I’d need a ground game. Now I love the guy’s and the coach at my husband’s gym (Stealth BJJ) and I do visit them most weeks. But when I was starting they didn’t really have any girls (they have several now) and they don’t have an MMA focus to their training. Plus their class times clashed with my thai boxing sessions so I originally joined another gym which had three higher grade females plus MMA classes. However I quickly discovered not getting hit in the head was quite fun and that I could get competitions just through doing BJJ. So the MMA plan got quickly sidelined but by that time I’d started to settle at the gym.

Regular readers will know that I changed clubs shortly after starting this blog and again I chose a different club to my husband. The reasons below still applied to my decision but additionally I also knew the gym and had a great relationship with my current coach. All of which really helped with the move to Factory BJJ. Ultimately your decision should be about learning BJJ in the best way for you. For some people that will mean having to train together due to the availability of training but I was lucky enough to have a choice!

UntitledI didn’t want to be known as someone’s Wife
I didn’t want to struggle to be taken seriously or to just be known as someone’s wife. I wanted to be known as a good grappler in my own right. Joining a different gym ensured that. Realistically in hindsight I never would have been labelled at my husband’s gym as I have become friends with quite a few people there but I just didn’t want to risk it.

It’s better for us socially
Neither mine or my husbands jobs are that exciting so there is a limit to how much we can talk about them. Factory Post Euros SocialTraining has always been a big part of our lives and I couldn’t imagine conversations such as “did you see what Dave did tonight?” “yup i was there” being a great help to our relationship! Plus being at different gym has ultimately meant more social invitations, a bigger social circle and information on more seminars and events! If I’m honest it was this reason that was one of the biggest drivers for me.

What About Not Rolling Together???
This is a long story but basically it’s simply safer for us not roll together as it always has the potential for tears, arguments or general divorce!  UntitledMy husband is more than capable of rolling with other women and I can happily roll with similar sized guys but together we are just toxic. Whether it’s our personality or being a similar belt level who knows but being at different gyms limits the potential for this to happen.
BJJ isn’t about size and I’m determined to prove it when I roll with him. Similarly (although he denies this) I’m sure he deliberately frustrates me with his unbreakable grips! Although in the run up to the Europeans we did have to do a few weeks competition class together due to numbers and schedules. Whilst we survived the experience without divorce papers it did result in some out of gym squabbles reinforcing our plan! Whilst I appreciate all those couples who train together the reality is it just not worth the relationship risk for us!

The lovely Emilia Tuukkanen has had similar experiences to myself and wrote about them for BJJ Style (which you might enjoy) so I know I’m not alone or totally dysfunctional! Feel free to let me know your thoughts. How do you balance your training relationship? Is it a BJJ lifestyle dream or a roller coaster?!? 


Meme Credit – my lovely friend Liam Wandi

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