It’s no secret that major changes have surfaced within all aspects of our communities. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu itself has experienced a sudden pause with the complete cancelation of the 2020 tournament season, which included: the IBJJF Pan Americans and Worlds. As weeks turn into months, questions were raised about how our athletes have maintained a leveled state during these times. For the 25-year-old BJJ black belt, Rolando Samson, this is what we’ve come to find.
With the closure of all gyms – BJJ academies included – times have proven tough for the majority. Rolando admitted to us that he often feels restless and impatient with the idle lifestyle. Still, he finds ways to feel as though things were normal. A big part of his adaptation was to try to create a new routine. His daily regime included: continuing to wake up early to have coffee and eat breakfast, doing at-home workouts or some kind of physical activity, spending a few hours on Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish, tidying up his home, and playing video games. He adds, “If at times I want to switch things up, I switch things up, just as I would before this lifestyle change. It’s easier to get bored these days, so finding different activities to do with what you have at home is extremely helpful.”
Rolando kept honest about how hard this transition was for him and his family. As a family man, it was difficult to accept that keeping distance was a way to protect them; but with this, he felt the greater need to be in communication with his loved ones. He would coordinate with his whole family to schedule weekly Zoom dates and FaceTime a family member or some friends every single day. “I would pick up my phone and video call whoever it is I’m thinking of at that time. So far, everyone has answered my calls. I’ve been talking to people more often than I did before!”
Optimistically, Rolando also says that with this break from his profession as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete, he’s now able to better address his mental awareness and health. With all this down time, he’s able to more effectively reflect on how he’s doing not just as a competitor, but as an everyday man. “Before all this occurred, especially during competition season, it wasn’t part of my schedule to take a break. It was one preparation after another, on top of teaching classes at Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ. Now I feel as though I’m more in touch with who I am right now and who I’m still working to be. So that I don’t feel trapped in my own home, I like to think of this time as a blessing to reflect and appreciate those who continue to be with me, regardless of the distance and our circumstances.”
Stay on the Grind!