The effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic have touched every corner of society.

This is just as true in sports as it is anywhere else. Ever since the NBA shocked the world by shutting down operations on March 11 after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert became the first player to test positive for COVID-19, which was quickly followed by the rest of major sports entities following suit, those who place high value on athletic pursuits in their lives have had to cope with the loss of something deeply ingrained in their identities.

Mixed martial arts is no different. Most of the headlines have understandably gone to the big-money fight promotions, which have to navigate their way through this mess, with the UFC getting back up and running over the past two weeks following a two-month break. Bellator, PFL, ONE Championship, and others are still on the sidelines.

But the trickle-down effect of stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns carry on to the livelihoods of those further down the chain, far from the spotlight. MMA’s various component sports, like boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu, all have had to adjust to coronavirus in their own way.

Shelter-in-place orders have closed gyms all over the world as various governments attempt to get the worst pandemic to hit humanity in quite some time under control. That means the people who run the gyms are having a hard time making the rent. It also means the people who manufacture and make equipment that supply these gyms had their business grind to a halt. 

And perhaps even more important than monetary concerns are those of the physical and mental well being of the people who partake in an athletic hobby. If you train in jiu-jitsu, whether you’re a world-class talent or a hobbyist or somewhere in between, your participation in the sport betters your all-around well being, from the sheer physical conditioning aspect to the mental strength that comes from learning, working toward goals, and adapting and improving. 

Noted MMA documentarian Bobby Razak loves the sport of jiu-jitsu, and he wants to pass along along an encouraging note to to his fellow enthusiasts during this tough time. 

With time on his hands like everyone else during a long period of self-isolation, the Los Angeles-based Razak put together inspirational snippets from interviews for another project he’s currently compiling, which looks into the history of the grappling arts, to put together a short documentary called “Jiu-Jitsu Strong.”

“This has been a really tough time for everyone,” Razak told MMA Junkie. “And that includes people in jiu-jitsu. We have to stay strong and defeat this virus, but at the same time, people are worried about their livelihoods. If you run a jiu-jitsu gym, you do it for the love of the sport, but you also have to pay your bills, and there are those who are worried they might have to go out of business. So I just wanted to put something together to remind people what brought them to this sport in the first place as we all try to get through this.”

Big names from all over the jiu-jitsu world appear in the half-hour long film, which includes such figures as longtime UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. Many branches of the Gracie family tree are featured prominently, from Renzo to Kyra to Kron. Also appearing are those known as much for their success in the MMA cage as they are for their exploits on the international grappling mats, such as former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

At the end of the day, Razak, whose acclaimed works include a documentary on the life of late Tapout co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis, wanted to remind his fellow jiu-jitsu fans that the lessons they learned in the gym can apply to the situation we all currently find ourselves in. 

“It’s as scary of a time as we can remember, and we don’t know how things are going to end up,” Razak said. “And I just wanted people who train jiu-jitsu to think of this like how they handle a jiu-jitsu match. The same mental challenges that pushes them to be better, to overcome the odds, you can channel that mental energy to get through these tough times.”

“Jiu-Jitsu Strong” is available to watch for free in the video above.