Jiu Jitsu Therapy

It occurs to me that my last post was a bit depressing* so I thought I’d write something a little bit more upbeat.

The start of November was, quite frankly, shit. I experienced probably the worst total mind and body failure in my BJJ career so far. The sort  of thing that makes you want to give in and take up Tae Kwon Do. Sadly for the guys at my club, and for you lot, I decided to soldier on. Sorry.

Since then I think I’ve made good progress. I realised I wasn’t getting anywhere and wasn’t having fun. So I decided to try and focus on just having fun again. I didn’t go to sessions when I felt I was forcing myself to go, and I didn’t beat myself up for missing sessions when I had other things to do (even things like catch up with some old mates down the pub). As a consequence I started to enjoy training again, started wanting to train more and started to progress again. Funny how those things go together isn’t it? Seriously. How many fucking times do I need to learn this lesson? Pigeons learn faster than me!

Skip to the end of November and I was feeling better about my training, feeling better about myself, and actually felt like I deserved to be wearing a Blue Belt for the first time in ages.  Good thing too really as I have now been given my first stripe to live up to… It never ends!

So, there we have it. Jiu Jitsu will save you. It took me from the worst I’ve felt in months to the best I’ve felt in months. Or maybe it’s just cos I got laid the other weekend. Further study is needed. Anyone? Purely in the interests on science, obviously…

*That’s the problem with being depressed. It is a bit, well, depressing.

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6 thoughts on “Jiu Jitsu Therapy

  1. slideyfoot says:

    Out of interest, how does Andy do stripes at your place? I’ve been used to ignoring them and the feeling faintly embarassed when visiting other academies, because I’m relatively sure they mean absolutely nothing in my case other than I’ve been hanging around for a certain amount of time (and they’ve come at relatively regular intervals, bar extended bouncing around the country).

    Is it less regimented at your gym, acting more as a reflection of skill, or again a kind of marker for the instructor to remember who has been there a while?

    Also, the title is interesting, probably because I’ve been looking at poetry therapy (yes, that really does exist: you can even get qualifications in it) as part of my thesis. If you can use poetry in a therapeutic setting, I wonder if it would be possible to use jiu jitsu too? Although as that is a lot more physical, might be more difficult (but perhaps with things like depression it might be of clinical use: I know doctors often prescribe exercise for that kind of thing).

    • Tartovski says:

      I think he pulls names out of hat? Or perhaps uses some kind of ouiji board? Fucked if I know how he decides…

      Seriously though – He uses them purely as an indication of time served. Or rather, time served in regular training. To that end they do serve a vague “he’s a bit good” use, though obviously if someone’s been training 6 months 2X a week they are likely to get a few stripes but then so is the person that’s training 4x a week too. Nothing’s perfect I guess?

      Well I know for a fact I use BJJ as therapy. It’s been a good constant source of endorphins and focus for me through lots of bad shit. At some point I’ll try and bang all the thoughts about that into a blog post – but I’m not sure where to start.

      I’d love to be able to use it in an actual medical setting though – that would be a perfect job!

      • slideyfoot says:

        Well, I was being absolutely serious when I mentioned it above, so if there is anyone looking into it as an actual form of therapy, I’d love to hear about it. Must have been studies done already about the therapeutic benefits of sport, but my area is poetry, so not something I know much about. 😉

  2. Tartovski says:

    I was being serious too. One of the career paths I’m looking at is working with referred populations (once I qualify as a personal trainer) which could involve working with people depression etc. One of the things I’d like to be able to do is use BJJ in some way for that (or for PT in general). Not sure how I’d go about it though.

  3. Brian says:

    Great blog! bjj is such an emotional sport, my instructor says a black belt is a white belt who never gave up. I’m from West Virginia and MMA is banned here, they even tried to ban bjj competitions but they failed. I have a website about legalizing MMA in WV, I added your blog to my links and wrote about your site in my blog. If you could check out my site and mention it in your blog that would be great. The web address is http://www.legalizemmainwv.com Thanks, Brian

    • Tartovski says:

      Hi Brian,

      Cheers for reading. I can see the link to my blog easily (thank you) but can’t see where you’ve written about it? Can you give me the link?
      I find the banning of MMA bizarre. Especially in a country where you are legally allowed to shoot people on your property. Sure there are health risks – but that’s why all fighters are consenting adults. I’m actually planning an article about the interest (or lack of it) my blog gets so if/when I get around to it I’ll link you then.
      Ta!

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