It’s been awile since I’ve shook hands, hugged and smacked the back (the more gentle comraderie kind) of my teammates. It’s been awhile since I’ve slapped hands and bumped fists pre-roll.

It’s.

Been.

Awhile.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Once our gym was officially closed, we switched to Zoom, and our Professor has been hosting class online so we can train together from our living room, bedroom or garage gym. That has been an interesting experience, to say the least.

Gi material doesn’t jive well on carpet.

I was fortunate enough to purchase some nice quality roll-up mats from my professor. Cleaned up, swept out and sprayed bug killer around my single car garage and now I have a nice 10 x 10 square of mats.

I mean, it only took me the first month, but hey, who’s counting, right?

I wish I could say that I was ever vigilant in training, regardless of obstacles; that I had that Jocko Willink, “GOOD” attitude constantly and  was getting up at 0430 and getting after it.

I’d like to say that, really. But I haven’t.

I’ll offer no excuses. I’ll probably write about all the actual factors that contributed to my slowing momentum and stutter-step non-action, but in the end I know that it always begins with the choice and when it was all said and done, I chose to not pull that drive out of me. I’m not sure whether to say it was “bad” or “good”, or whether it just is.

I’ve been fortunate in this: my eldest daughter is back at it again, training with me on our home mats – i think the added benefit of me training her boyfriend coaxed her out of her senior year hiatus, but still.

I wish I could give you some tips and tricks to help you. I’v slowly been putting my home gym together, so I guess I’ll just say: focus and use what you have! Don’t focus on what you don’t have.

There are a few websites, BJJFanatics being one of them, that have been offering free DVD downloads in response to the Coronavirus impact on the BJJ community as a whole. I downloaded John Danaher’s “Self Mastery: Solo BJJ Training Drills”, it is still free. I found some value in it.

Work through what you know. If you are by yourself, “shadowbox” your way through what you know. Technique by technique and walk yourself through it out loud as you do it, keep that mental edge sharp.

“Ok, I’m in someone’s closed guard. I’ve got good posture, my structure and my base are sound. I’ve broken his grips and I begin to break open his guard. I’m controlling his limbs as I knee slice to side control I’m keeping pressure as I adjust.. etc, etc, etc.”

You get the idea. I’m just a blue belt thought and not a high level competitor. I’m sure you could get way more valuable advice from a high level competitor blue belt than I. I’m just trying to help.

I hope you haven’t cancelled your membership. There won’t be many BJJ gyms to go back to if everyone cancels. If you “have to” due to financial burdens, etc., I get it, but if you can, support your gym. You won’t get promoted. You aren’t going to get a medal. You are simply sewing a selflessly selfish (yeah, it’s kind of both) seed to help ensure you have a place to come back to. A good handful of the Professors do this fulltime, so that is something to think about.

Do what you can with what you got. Hang in there. It will get better.

Until then, well, at least it is interesting, to say the least, right?