I’ve been asked by Peter to write an article about what would I change about BJJ to make it easier on me, a wife of a BJJ player. Before I answer this, I have to give you a little back ground into our personal journey into the lifestyle of BJJ.
I remember about 6 years ago Peter coming to me and telling me about a sport called BJJ. He described it as an element of mixed martial arts. Up until this point, I had never heard of or experienced anything to do with the sport so it was all new to me...along with this new founded interest of Peter’s.
We just had our second child (she was about 3 months old) and we just had finished and moved into our new home which Peter built 90% of, so needless to say our lives were in an ever changing, overwhelming climate. The last thing I wanted or was ready for was to share my husband’s time and energy (whatever he had left after meeting our growing family’s needs) into an extracurricular activity. To say I protested would be an understatement. However, through Peter’s relentless passion for the art and insatiable desire for more, I conceded and agreed to compromise.
I believe we started out with Peter attending one class a week. Which then, (very quickly I might add) turned into 3 nights per week. Shortly there after, it evolved into Peter opening up his own school and teaching his own classes. Now this new extracurricular activity Peter was just going to “try out” looks like (1) Peter owning and operating an online BJJ e-newsletter, (2) still running his own school, (3) having his own BJJ apparel company and last but definitely not least (4) traveling all over God’s creation for interviews, competitions and brand marketing.
This list does not include all our weekends that are dictated and planned around any national competition he might not have attended (because he had chosen to grace our family with his presence) with the big screen blasting matches every 6-8 minutes around the clock...for days! God forbid we run to the lake for a quick dip or drive to the ice cream stand for a treat...WE COULD MISS SOMETHING!! Or waking up and rolling over in the middle of the night to find Pete’s eyes bugging out, staring at the lap top screen...he can’t even focus them anymore because he has watched hours and hours of BJJ videos on youtube, or the random rear naked choke I have to endure because my neck just happened to be exposed while I am preparing dinner. No, this list is strictly the newly evolved backbone of our “compromise”.
So he asks me what would I change...man if that isn’t a loaded question!!! But here’s the thing, after 6 years of being completely inundated, all encompassed, living, eating and breathing the art of BJJ, I fell in love. Did this happen over night? Hardly. Imagine, if you will, your passion for this sport, then invert that enthusiasm over to it’s opposite light and that is where I was. I was jealous that I had to share my husband’s limited time. After all, I hadn’t had a full night’s sleep in what seemed like years with a new baby (not to mention the crazy three year old running rampant). I could not comprehend the vice this art had on him nor did I really want to understand. I was very resentful. Until Peter arranged for me to attend a competition in California in 2009 at the World’s. We were scheduled to spend four days in Longbeach, CA. Peter was to compete the second day we arrived. I was ecstatic! Four whole days without anyone pulling on me or demanding Cheerios and Bug Juice! YAHOO! I didn’t care if I was watching worm’s compost, I was kid free!
After the first day of fights, Pete got to sit with me and commentate. He explained the sport’s rules. He shared the experience with me and I was hooked. I came away with a huge appreciate for all the competitor’s. I understood all their personal sacrifices that got them to that level. And I could relate to the addiction...I didn’t want it to end!!!
What would I change? Nothing. Peter and I just celebrated our 13th year of marriage and the most important thing we have learned about ourselves and the life we share, is balance. Not only has BJJ been a life disciplinary for Peter as a competitor and a business owner, it has forced us to establish and maintain a healthy balance within our family and our individual needs. I am grateful for the experience and our family’s continuous pilgrimage with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Are you a BJJ Wife? Please share with us your experiences so we may publish it in a future newsletter or on our website. Please email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org