As soon as we heard that Iceland was accepting international visitors we got rather excited about attending the BJJ Globetrotters Iceland Camp. Despite challenges with UK travel requirements and tricky flight booking (our flights changed 3 times) we knew we had to find a way to get there! A full of week of BJJ rolling, instructions and fun without covid restrictions sounded exactly like the perfect trip to get back to BJJ adventures!
OK so it doesn’t take a genius to realize that I have posted in a while so I figured it was worth doing a quick post to say that – A) I’m ok and B) try to explain my reasons / motivations for taking a sabbatical – spoilers it was covid related! For readers not in the UK we basically have had three lockdown during the last year linked to covid. During this time BJJ training was stopped and even in the periods we were open it was severely limited to essentially training in household and support bubbles. It’s only in the last few weeks contact sports could start again.
So this brings me onto the main reason I stopped posting – what on earth could I legitimately write about BJJ when every gym in the country was supposed to be closed! I genuinely did have a case of writers block but in the name of full disclosure it was probably was a bit more serious / deeper than that.
During peak lockdown I essentially went through a stage of hating anything that was mat focused because I wasn’t able to do it. For example What was the point of instructional videos when you couldn’t drill them properly? So I just disconnected myself a bit for my own mental health. Yoga for BJJ was my main exercise alongside Zoom judo classes with the lovey guys at Bacup Judo Club (and my judo coach Sophie Cox). Although to call it judo was still a stretch most session consisted of some form of high intensity circuit sand me swearing off camera as I tried to keep up with the teenagers before having a natter at the end of the call! Obviously I tried not be a total hermit with the occasional social stuff such as a club virtual pub quiz and friendly random texts but my only contact with the mat side of the sport was reduced to Sunday afternoons watching Fight to Win on the sofa.
Now before you all start about the “elite” status exception (as I did get asked about it / my eligibility). For clarity elite status only applied to either people training on an Olympic or Commonwealth games pathway (which obvious we don’t have). Or was earning or had the potential to earn a full time living from it which also doesn’t apply to about 98% of people. IBJJF medals didn’t count (it’s amateur) and neither did most peoples claim via the sub only circuit. I might post / rant more when I have time and the dust has settled. As for training “underground” again that’s a whole post for another day but for now we all know the rules of fight club – whether you attended or not 😉
So basically I am now back on the mats as much as I can be and I have recently experienced a whole new level of mat soreness and mat rust. In other good news despite having to drill with my hubby way more than I’d like to we still haven’t divorced!
So why I am I sharing this – well its not just about relaunching the blog. I am just really conscious social media has been full of people who have trained throughout the pandemic or appear to have returned without a care in world. Sometimes its just good to hear that its not been like that for everyone and having a minimum tantrum or a temporary loss of love for the sport is ok. Just come back on your own terms and be a bit kinder to yourself on your return.
So what next for the BJJ Minion – well I have a few plans in the pipeline in terms of BJJ adventures over the next few months which if everything goes to plan I’ll blog about when I can but in the meantime I hope you’ve all stayed safe and well and are back on the mat in some form.