Leao Marinho Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Preston had to close its doors, like all businesses, but this club is much more than a business and its affect has been felt by all members in different ways.

Preston BJJ would always reopen, it is more than a sporting club and the members would make sure it had what it needed to survive the imposed lockdown. We are just unaware of how long it would be closed for and when it could reopen.

Hobby does not seem to have the gravitas needed to convey what this sport and what Preston BJJ means people. Yes, for some it is a place where you can get some exercise and learn a skill but for most it is an important part of their life. For the competitors, coaches and Professors it is part of their livelihood. For some members it is the place they go to start the day, others train after work to unwind. Preston BJJ is an established part of people’s routines.

Preston BJJ is also more than a part of your day however, for a lot of us it is our social time. A chance to escape the world and see friends. Loosing the chance to visit the gym has been tough on us all, both physically and mentally.

Physical fitness is an essential aspect of life and mental health is tantamount to this. The two go hand in hand to your wellbeing. Some people use the grind as a stress reliever. I use it as a meditation. The wait of the world could, metaphorically, be on my shoulders all day. During classes all other thoughts, bar BJJ, leave my mind. I could literally have a crushing weight on my chest, and I would be more at peace than I was throughout my day. When I would leave Preston BJJ after training, I felt more at ease. Training has that effect, for me anyway, others have their own reasons for training.

Amazingly though when Preston BJJ closed, we saw Preston BJJ members working hard outside the gym. We have numerous members who are keyworkers and helped the community though the COVID crisis. I am thankful for all of them. The amazing Preston Hub team can not be praised enough. Outstanding members of the community, their charity work is an inspiration. They should hold their heads high.

Online there is constant communications between members via Whatsapp group chats. Professor Pan took his own time to teach online classes. There are even Facebook fitness challenges between the members to help raise awareness for Mental Health.

Hopefully this COVID lockdown will pass soon and we can return to our gym and to training.

I have learned that some of the most dangerous people are the most caring and positive people in society. The grand importance Preston BJJ has on the lives of many different types of people.

What should be taken away from this is that Preston BJJ is more than a gym, it is a community and an intricate part of many people’s life.

Even without the mats the team has stuck together, working hard and ready to roll again.

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