During a Covid-19 circuit breaker we asked our members to send us some testimonials about the gym and what it means to them.

Thought of re-opening kept me going.
Having not trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for very long before lockdown, the effects I found it had on my heath were huge. My mental health especially improved, I felt happier, more confident, and often less angry. Along with that the social aspect has been hugely beneficial for me, the people I’ve met through the sport have all been amazing. Without training over lockdown I felt very low at times, but the thought of one day returning to full contact grappling kept me going. To add to that, the physical fitness, strength and mobility BJJ gives you is incredibly invaluable, not just to better yourself at the sport but for everyday life.
– Sophie H.

Keeps me sane.
Ronin is an amazing place to go, the many months without it was a very difficult time although Giles and Cristiana went above and beyond to keep training going there is only so much you can do online. Being back in the gym was fantastic for so many reasons. Ronin is one of my only ways of keeping fit but for me it did so much more. It kept me sane, my mental health has benefited so much from the gym being open again, I got to see all of the people I had grown close with in my short time at Ronin and I was able to relax let myself have some fun and for a while it let me forget about everything that was happening outside of the gym door. Ronin is now a part of my life and I want to make sure it stays that way. Hopefully we can stay open with any new measures to abide by because I will follow them to the letter if it allows me to train with my friends again.
– Daniel T.

Productive for mental health.
As we have spoken about in the past, I have really struggled with my mental health for a number of years. Last September I made the decision to start training at another gym which harboured a culture that if anything made it a little worse. However since joining Ronin in January I have seen an incredible increase in my mental well being. Training at your gym has been far more productive for my head than years of CBT, NLP, Counselling and medication combined. Obviously since March things have looked a little different but I can honestly say the 31/08/2020 was by far one of the best days this year. Being allowed back into the gym, even in a reduced capacity has allowed me the focus and conditioning needed to help.
– Callum M.

Relieve stress.
Training is important to me as it keeps both my mind and body healthy. It is a way that I can relieve stress in a safe and friendly environment and when I can’t train I do notice a difference with my mental health. It’s also one of the best ways for me to keep physically fit, I can find running and weight lifting boring to the point where i lose my motivation however bjj keeps me fully focused the entire time and I always feel so much better after training.
– Reece F.

Physical and mental improvements.
The positive impact that Ronin Grapplin has had on me is incredible, particularly due to the fact that I have been a member for a very short time. The physical and mental improvements that I have experienced far outweigh my training time, and I greatly look forward to being able to reconnect with and train at ronin grappling again soon.
Dominick G.

Sense of community.
Without question the camaraderie , sense of community and personal interaction is the bedrock of Ronin Grappling Rutherglen. The gym and its members have been pivotal in maintaining both my physical and mental health wellbeing since joining . In these challenging times, it is a beacon of hope, reassurance and stability, it must remain open.
– David B.

Clear mind.
The club has always been there for me when I have been mentally struggling. It has been somewere that I come and forget about anything that I’m going through. I always leave feeling alot better and my mind feels so clear. If it wasent for the gym I dont know were I would be right now.
– Brian R.

Place of solace.
I have worked throught the pandemic and been scared and worked hard then i have to go home to my family whome have also been effected as my wife is self employed. We have lost a huge amount of income this year and this has effected her mental health and mine has also took a hit. I worry everytime i watch the news. I worry at work as im in constant danger with the general public. My 1 place of solace is the gym for bjj i can see my friends in a safe place. Social distanced and the place is spotless. This is maybe my 1 hour of the week that i can think about something else and I can tell you now without it i woukd be very very ill mentally and physically. This would effect my day job and home life that is already hard. I need this gym to keep my head straight and keep an ounce of fitness as time at home is just not possible. I’m a dad a husband and need to care for those around me. I thank my gym for this and the people that run it and keep us safe in the process. Its cleaner than my work its safer then the hundreds of customers walking into my bank week on week. I need this.
– Gerard M.

A sense of belonging.
I am more than aware of the risks pertaining to covid 19, and the need to contain the spread of this virus. However, I do believe we have to look at the situation as a whole and consider the benefits of regular physical training versus the risk posed by covid 19. We are now 6 months into the restrictions, meaning that half of the year I have deprived of regular training. Which obviously keeps me physically healthy and improves my mental wellbeing. Aside from that the gym provides social contact, camaraderie and a sense of belonging. Which provides community and connection which is sorely needed in these troubled times. We cannot completely eradicate the spread of coronavirus, but, as responsible adults we can take steps to minimise this risk. I believe there is an element of trust involved here, and we need to be recognised autonomous human beings who can still participate in normal gym activities while making the right choices and following strict procedures to reduce the spread.
– Alan J.

Integral and needed.
In the year since I joined Ronin Grappling, training has gone from something I do to keep the pitfalls and perils of aging away, to something integral and needed in my life.
Before the pandemic hit, any spare time away from work and family I could get I was there. Sometimes twice a day. And it wasn’t just to train and be healthy. Ronin Grappling and especially Giles and Cristiana created an atmosphere and a camaraderie among all the members that I love.
I never knew I needed that so much in my Life until it was taken away from me during the pandemic. I really missed the place.
Recently it’s been good to get back on the mats to train. Although vastly different than before due to the fact we are non contact at the moment. Hopefully, someday soon that can change but it’s been good seeing everyone again.
Unlike gyms where you turn up, work out, then leave, sometimes passing a nod or wave to members that are there at the same time as you. Ronin gives you the time to talk, to get to know each other and develop friendships. And during these trying times, we really need those friendships.
Jim O’C

We can safely express ourselves.
While training at ronin grappling I found a number of different health benefits that have impacted in just about all areas of my life. When i started with ronin grappling I was in the process of putting my life back together. I had for all intents and purposes hit rock bottom. I was severly depressed, had developed an eating disorder that I was struggling to get control over and had become very isolated from the world. Joining the club positively impacted my mental health so much, more than I was aware of. It gave me something to work towards. I found a community that accepted me for who i am, it also allowed to me to try to integrate myself back into society in a safe environment where i was around people who were supportive. Being part of the club has impacted my life so positively. I work at it every day and have to keep myself in check but being part of the club has taken a very long and difficult journey and made it a little shorter and a little less difficult and lonely. The physical benefits of training at the club i see just about every day in all aspects of my life. getting to train in jiu jitsu with the club gives me a way to actually stay healthy and exercise. This is due to a number of injuries and health conditions i have that make training in say a regular gym a lot less practical or feasible for me. Also the social aspects of the club. The benefits of actually being part of the club community, Especially now more than ever. Getting to know that I have people I can actually communicate with and who will check in with at times makes a big difference. Even if that is a phone call, text and voice chats, study sessions or whatever. For someone who struggles to connect with other human beings at the best of times this has been invaluable. Being in the club has been somewhat of an escape from the goings on of the outside world as well. training in jui jitsu has given me something to focus on and take my mind off of the outside world and the global issues. My emotional wellbeing has also benefited from being involved with the club. This is because it has given me and its other members a place were we can safely express ourselves and what we are feeling. And something that we can channel that energy into in a constructive and positive way.
– J.F.

Enhanced my wellbeing and confidence.
Since the beginning of the initial lockdown in March, Giles & Cristiana have put in an enormous effort to make sure the gym adheres to these guidelines. They have bought grappling dummies to allow us to train individually, facilitated conditioning sessions and many on-line classes ie: yoga for BJJ. After each session at the gym it is scrubbed from top to bottom, which I can vouch for as I have stayed behind on occasion to help out. The cost of this cleaning equipment is also quite unbelievable. Ronin Grappling is not only a grappling/Jiu Jitsu club for me. Having been a member since October 2019, I can honestly say that my physical and mental health has improved significantly. I am a 46yr old woman, single mum of 2 teenagers and work full time as a police officer. This club has enhanced my wellbeing and confidence on a personally and professionally. Giles & Cristiana have been there for me not only for training but also on a personal level and have quite literally saved my mental health from entering a dark place. If the gym is to close again, even for a short period of time, I feel that the negative knock on effect will be enormous, not only on Giles, Cristiana and myself, but the other members too, some of which going to the club is the only time they get out the house.
– Mandy G.