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The Liberating Path: Breaking Free from Jiu-Jitsu Politics

A black and white portrait of Jiu Jitsu players rolling on the mat


Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art that combines self-defense techniques and combat sport, has gained immense popularity worldwide. However, behind the physical and mental benefits lie the intricacies of Jiu-Jitsu politics, which can sometimes be divisive and hindering. This blog explores the concept of Jiu-Jitsu politics, challenges the common narratives, and highlights the importance of prioritizing mental well-being when it comes to training and team affiliation.

Understanding Jiu-Jitsu Politics

Jiu-Jitsu politics refers to the complex network of relationships, loyalties, and rivalries within the Jiu-Jitsu community. It encompasses issues such as team affiliations, loyalty, instructor-student dynamics, and the unspoken rules that govern these interactions. While some elements of politics are present in any community, Jiu-Jitsu's close-knit nature tends to amplify them.

The Dilemma of Team Affiliations

One of the central aspects of Jiu-Jitsu politics revolves around team affiliations. Students often find themselves torn between loyalty to their current team and the desire to train with other instructors or practitioners from different teams. The fear of being labeled a "traitor" or facing exclusion from the community can create unnecessary pressure and hinder personal growth.

Jiu Jitsu Players roll on the mat in white gi's

Mental Health and Personal Growth

Jiu-Jitsu, as both a physical and mental discipline, should prioritize individual growth and well-being. Just as the body requires proper care, the mind also needs nourishment. It is crucial to understand that staying loyal to a team or instructor should not come at the cost of sacrificing mental health or stifling personal development.

A jiu Jitsu Practitioner rolls with another Jiu jitsu Player

The Freedom to Explore

The essence of Jiu-Jitsu lies in the continuous quest for knowledge, growth, and self-improvement. Students should feel empowered to seek training experiences that align with their goals, preferences, and mental well-being. Exploring different instructors, training methodologies, and even changing teams can provide valuable insights and enhance one's overall Jiu-Jitsu journey.

Breaking the Shackles

To overcome the negative impacts of Jiu-Jitsu politics, practitioners should focus on fostering an environment that prioritizes respect, personal growth, and mental health. Open and honest communication among practitioners, instructors, and teams is essential to foster understanding and dispel misconceptions.

Benefits of Cross-Training

Cross-training, which involves training with practitioners and instructors from various teams, can greatly enhance one's Jiu-Jitsu skills and overall experience. Exposure to different teaching styles, techniques, and training philosophies can broaden perspectives and enrich one's learning journey. It can also create a more inclusive and united Jiu-Jitsu community.

Respecting Boundaries and Prioritizing Ethics

While it is important to advocate for individual freedom and mental health, it is equally vital to approach transitions and team changes with integrity and respect. Communicating openly with instructors and teammates, expressing gratitude for the experiences gained, and maintaining ethical behavior throughout the process are essential to uphold the values of Jiu-Jitsu.


Jiu-Jitsu politics can often be a hindrance to personal growth and mental well-being. However, by recognizing the importance of mental health, prioritizing personal development, and promoting open communication, practitioners can break free from the shackles of politics. Embracing cross-training opportunities and exploring different teams and instructors can lead to a more inclusive and progressive Jiu-Jitsu community. Remember, the true essence of Jiu-Jitsu lies in the continuous pursuit of knowledge, growth, and the unyielding quest to become the best version of oneself.

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