Love on the Mat: Having a Romantic Relationship in the Academy

“Love is like a virus and can happen anytime, anywhere” – Maya Angelou

If Maya Angelou is right, which I’m pretty sure she is…then its possible to find yourself to be attracted to someone you train with. It’s not at all uncommon. You two have a similar passion after all, and could easily use jiu-jitsu this to jumpstart more conversation. People have met under stranger circumstances. It could be the beginning of something great.


It’s still a subject I find interesting because some gyms discourage romantic relationships within the academy. I believe that what people do in there free time outside the academy is there own business. If two students choose to purse a romantic relationship, then more power to them. I do however believe that this can be tricky especially in the dating phase of the relationship.

valetinesdayProblems of the outside world can easily become a problem on the mat. It’s obviously best to always leave personal matters off the mat but its not always the case. Bringing problems from your relationship to the gym can make things awkward.

For some like myself, jiu-jitsu is an outlet and a way to relax. If the problems of the outside world bother you on the mat, it will not only affect your jiu-jitsu but your experience at that gym.

An academy should feel like home. When it doesn’t, it can be a depressing feeling. It can leave an empty feeling that doesn’t feel good.

14933043719_2be25f5b44_zWhat happens when it doesn’t work out? This can get awkward.  Breakups can be an emotional roller coaster. More importantly, you have to ask the question…will both people will stay at the same gym? Who stays and who leaves? What if both people end up leaving? It’s hard to imagine ever having to leave a place you’ve grown so accustomed to, though it’s a possibility depending on how things go.

If you are willing to risk that, then you may find something special with someone at the academy. There are many couples in jiu-jitsu and some that even end up getting married.  Romantic relationships in jiu-jitsu are like any other relationship. Students have to realize there could be some consequences to their decision and there could be a lot of ups and downs moving forward.

After all, “Love is a Battlefield” – Pat Benatar