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Balancing Academia and Jiu Jitsu

Balancing Academia and Jiu Jitsu


Mixing the books and the mats can be challenging

A common grievance among Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners also engaged in a pursuit of higher education is a difficulty in managing the time-consuming necessity of each entity. Unlike a career, students not only have to attend classes but must also spend many hours studying, working on burdensome projects, and preparing themselves for their future career. I tend to sympathize with these individuals due to my own circumstances; I am a graduate student pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences simultaneously. As a result, however, I have developed a skillset that allows me to manage my time and still train 3-4 times a week on a regular basis.

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To effectively pursue your interests without significant impedance to either requires the ability to efficiently manage your schedule. Fortunately, individual academic semesters tend to maintain a steady schedule. After selecting courses for the semester, you will be provided with a weekly schedule that will be consistent till the end. Use your academic schedule to determine which days you would attend Jiu Jitsu classes and which days you will focus on schoolwork. It is vital to maintain that daily schedule because significant alteration can be burdensome and discouraging. Use the days you do not go to Jiu Jitsu to complete as much schoolwork for the week as you can and not only focus on the next day. Using a digital calendar that you can view on your mobile device or computer quickly makes this process easy.

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It is effortless to make the claim that since academia is your main priority, it will be too difficult to train at a steady pace. I would be dishonest if I said that these own toxic thoughts did not come to me. On many occasions I had to mentally contend with these thoughts and not succumb to quitting or training less. However, the resilience and psychological determination Jiu Jitsu teaches us all helps overcome the negative tendencies. I am fortunate that I also have a team of people around to constantly encourage me as well. It is not all bad, however, because Jiu Jitsu also offers a break from the dull and monotonous life of being a student as grappling is an entity that can challenge us in ways that academia cannot.


Previously, I mentioned that I sympathize with individuals who are enrolled in higher education and training Jiu Jitsu. I do not, however, commiserate those who quit because of it. No one person has an easy life and I actually respect practitioners who maintain a career and take care of their family more-so than anyone else. Those individuals are the embodiment of passion and determination that we should allow to drive us all to improving ourselves in any way possible.

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