Enforcing personal boundaries can be difficult to do, especially if you’re really empathetic. If you’re prone to giving any situation the benefit of the doubt and insist on demonstrating basic decency at every turn then enforcing your personal boundaries may prove to be a bit difficult. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a about contact sports where grappling and holding on to your opponent is the main part of the learning process.
This doesn’t mean that you should be unhelpful during training sessions! It means that sometimes there are things that you need to do to let others know where to draw the line. Sympathy and optimistic human behaviors are not always mutually exclusive. There are three things you need to keep in mind to ensure that you enforce personal boundaries in your BJJ gym class.
If you have been asked by someone to do something and it doesn’t sit right with you then don’t agree or disagree at that moment. Take your time even if you don’t know how you feel about it. If the person doesn’t sit right with you then you don’t have to agree do what they say. If you say ‘no’ and the person keeps insisting then inform your coach to take viable action.
There are times when someone after class might come up to you and ask whether you could finance their classes because they don’t have the funds anymore. Don’t over-explain or anything, just say that you will consider what he/she said for a day or two. This will give you time to think it through as you won’t feel influenced or pressured.
2: Learn to Say ‘NO!’
It is understandable to give in to someone pestering you and influencing your empathetic side. You give in, thinking that if you help him/her this once then perhaps they will leave you alone. However that turns out to be false as now you are constantly being nagged by that very person for help. You wonder if it would have been better if you had just kept on saying ‘no!’
In fact, it would have been better if you had kept on saying no! The word ‘no!’ is a complete sentence and anyone who refuses to respect your decision is only trying to assert their control over you and the situation. To put it simply, anyone who refuses to take a ‘no’ is the very person who needs to be required to do so.
Even the most alert person can be caught off-guard and end up agreeing to something that you actually would never agree to. You need to let yourself have second thoughts. It is the worse feeling to think that you are stuck with something, making you feel even more violated. You need to let yourself change your mind.
If a fellow BJJ practitioner asks you to do something out of the blue and you agreed to do that at the moment then remember that all it takes is one sentence to reverse that regretful decision. Repetition is your friend, as stated in the previous point; learn to say ‘no’ repeatedly.
At Arashi Do Martial Arts in Edmonton, we help our members evolve both athletically and ethically. We ensure that personal boundaries are respected and no one oversteps their limits.
Come down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.
All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!