Expressing Political Opinions In The BJJ Academy

Bjj and political expression in the dojo

To be clear we are not talking about Jiu Jitsu politics in this article.

This article is about outside politics expressed within the Jiu Jitsu sphere.

There may be some unwritten rules when it comes to political expression within the Jiu Jitsu academy.

But what are they?

It may depend on where you are from in terms of community. Either way politics are tense nowadays.

People come to BJJ to relax and have fun. Yet people also want to be themselves if they are having an honest conversation in the locker room. Some subjects may be too emotional for some people.

Imagine if a person wore a patch endorsing a president?

A professor of Jiu Jitsu once told me that after the 2016 US elections he had to de-escalate students on 3 occasions because of their political speaking about who won or didn’t – because it became confrontational.

For example, the recent Brazil election evoked a lot of emotion within the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community and people opined all over social media. One candidate was seen in numerous images with notable BJJ figures.

Expression and the ability to do so is often a positive thing but where do we draw the line where it comes to speaking about political subjects with our BJJ buddies or peers in the academy?

You may say this article is political in and of itself but it’s not necessarily about the details but more about the procedure for discussion/expression of this topic.

In closing, what are the unwritten rules? What happens when a person you train with holds a view politically you disagree with? What if your professor or idol on social media supports a person you dislike? Does this make you less willing to train? Do you align your Jiu Jitsu friends with similar political views?

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