How to Return to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu After An Extended Break

Part of rising through the ranks of BJJ is sticking through it consistently. When someone gets a new belt or stripe, it shows their dedication and discipline in their training despite all that life can throw at us. Yet, despite all our efforts to train as often as we can, there may come a time that we have no choice but to take a short break from training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This may come in the form of current events, an overloaded schedule, an injury, travel, or something else personal to you.

Once that time has passed and you’re in the clear to return to classes, this is where you come upon the fork in the road. It’s no secret that it’s incredibly easy to stop training BJJ and simply never train again. In fact, drop-out rates in martial arts are notoriously high (and in Chico & Butte County, it's no different). It could start as innocently as taking a break to focus on something else. But not you. You’re going to overcome the obstacles, get back into your training routine, and earn your next stripe or belt.

So, what does it take to beat the odds and become a part of that 1% that stuck through it? The answer is to overcome the challenges, get out of your own mind, and get back to the point where training regularly feels like an established part of your weekly routine.

Coming back on the first day may not be a walk in the park, but it is a rite of passage. You’ll have to get your body used to the movements again, and you will have to get used to the level of cardio and conditioning needed to roll with your partners at a normal level. This may also be especially challenging if you’re overcoming an injury. But, you’ll be proud of yourself that you did it.

So, if there’s any thought in your mind that you’d like to continue training BJJ with your team, then follow our guide to returning to BJJ after your hiatus.

Don’t put it off.

When it comes to returning to Jiu Jitsu, there’s no better time than the present. The further and further you push out your return, the harder it will be to come back. You will have to get your body used to the movements and cardio again, so you should do it sooner than later.

Bring tons of water, eat well, and stretch, stretch, stretch.

Truth is, you’ll be sore after your first few classes back. You can combat this by taking some time before class to warm up your body, drinking enough water throughout training, and spending time stretching after class.

Take private lessons, if possible.

While this might not be a viable option for everyone, if you’re willing and able to take some private lessons to prep for your return, it can be very valuable. Especially if you’re returning from an injury, taking private lessons can help you get your body used to the movements and retrain your brain to think about techniques again.

Take it slow.

This is especially important if you’re returning from an injury or coming from an extended amount of time with no exercise. You don’t have to hit the ground running on your first day. If you have an injury, be mindful of how you move your body and flow roll with trusted partners until you’re ready to train normally.

Be easy on yourself.

If you have a higher level belt, you may have to accept that you’re not at the fitness and conditioning level that you were at before you left. You may find that things that came easy to you before may not be as easy right away or that someone else has advanced past you that was previously at a similar level. Remember to have fun when you are on the mat and that everyone here is on your team.

If you’re a former student of our gym who’s been wanting to rejoin our team, we’ll always have a spot for you on our mat. We are more than a gym– we are a community of people who have busy lives and a wide range of physical capabilities. We accept everyone as they are.

If you’re ready to roll with us again, send an email to to set your return date.

Get back on the mat!