Whatever your reasons for wanting to train in a martial art, if you are at the point of trying to decide which discipline to choose, it is worth considering the beautiful art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).
Although BJJ was birthed in 1920s in Brazil, it became very popular following UFC 1 when Royce Gracie became its first Champion after submitted all of his opponents using only BJJ – this is in spite of them having superior strength and size, and using different fighting styles. BJJ became known for being effective and practical for people of all sizes and ages, including children from age 4.
What people may not know at first, however, is what BJJ offers in terms of mental and physical health benefits, self-development, and how it can prepare just about anyone for real life situations. So, below are 10 reasons we think everyone should train BJJ.
- Mental Health benefits: Whether you are stressed from situations in your life, or suffer with a mental illness of any degree, BJJ helps by enabling you to focus only learning BJJ for an hour or 2, surviving under pressure, and how to become comfortable in uncomfortable situations. BJJ enables you to mindful, being in the moment rather than living in your own head, in the past or worrying about the future. BJJ isn’t called submission therapy for nothing.
- Physical Health benefits: BJJ helps you by increasing your body awareness, flexibility, coordination, strength, endurance, cardio, and as you are burning more calories in this fun aerobic workout than your traditional gym session, you lose weight. In addition, you lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce stress and sleep better.
- Builds Confidence: Learning hundreds of BJJ techniques would take a lifetime, but learning them, and sparring, gives you discipline, and mental, physical, and social confidence.
- Self-Defence: This is by far the most popular reason that people want to learn BJJ, after all, there are many adults and children who feel fear and uncertainty about what they would do in a real-life situation, especially if they are suffering bullying, abuse or live in fear of attack. BJJ training is safe, simple and offers a realistic way to defend yourself, even if you end up on the ground.By training Jiu Jitsu with the GI and without it (NO-GI) you get to practice your techniques in every type of situation and scenario.
- It’s Fun: Whilst getting fit, losing weight and meeting like-minded people, you can enjoy a martial art that is likened to a game of chess because of the constant need to evaluate and re-evaluate your position, trying to gauge your opponent’s next move, and using endgame strategies to submit them. Moment by moment whilst rolling, you constantly need to use the many techniques you have learned, like shrimp and roll out, in order to get out of situations like being smashed in side control.
- Develop Critical Thinking Skills: The intricate moves taught in BJJ help develop critical thinking skills such as: Observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, problem solving, decision making, and evaluating a point of view to determine how strong or valid it is.
- Being part of a Community: Walk in to any BJJ gym and you’ll feel the warmth and sense of community – BJJ really is for everyone, regardless of gender, age or fitness level. Being part of a BJJ community encourages people to come together and be the best of who they are, to continue to develop themselves and to help others develop, and to provide support and accountability that aides learning and self-actualisation.
- Competition: Whether you like competition at the start of your BJJ journey or not, competing gives you a great opportunity to learn even more, regardless of whether you win a medal, and you get to practice what you have learned in session.
- Friendship making: Meeting new people in class, and learning and growing together on your respective BJJ journeys, can lead to life-long friendships and many new life opportunities, especially as BJJ embodies the very word ‘community’.
- It’s a positive addiction: For those who have destructive behaviours, like drug and alcohol addiction, a regular, positive outlet and activity for their energy is crucial, as this helps to focus on strengths and motivations to lead a healthy and satisfying life.