Are you interested in martial arts but don’t know where to start? Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) teaches students to use their underlying strength and body weight to defeat their opponent in the competition. It’s also a great way to defend yourself, should the situation ever arise.
BJJ is a total body workout that involves all the major muscle groups. It also requires practitioners to enhance their brainpower and critical thinking to ground their opponents.
But BJJ isn’t just a style of fighting. It’s a way of life. Here, we explore the top reasons to start training.
5 Reasons Why You Should Start Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be practiced by both children and adults. But what are the benefits?
1. It Improves Your Physical Condition
Compared to other martial arts disciplines, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has a very different approach to fitness. It focuses on improving your functional strength, leverage, and flexibility more than your aerobic fitness. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get in shape when practicing BJJ.
The physical effort that goes into training helps students burn calories which helps melt fat, just like in other more fast-paced martial arts disciplines. Additionally, it improves flexibility in your joints and limbs, and the muscles around the joints become firm and lean. This helps fighters improve their balance, strength, and grip.
2. It Teaches You Effective Self-Defence
Other martial arts disciplines, such as Muay Thai and boxing, emphasize high-impact self-defence and offensive techniques. By contrast, Brazilian jiu-jitsu requires a more cerebral approach. Students learn to end fights efficiently, intelligently, and quickly, rather than using sheer physical force, which can result in injuries to opponents.
Moreover, BJJ can be practiced by anyone, irrespective of their strength, age or gender. Indeed, your size doesn’t matter as success comes down to technique rather than sheer physical force. So, a smaller opponent can beat a bigger adversary, regardless of their strength, by using the right grappling techniques.
3. It Enhances Your Problem-Solving Skills
BJJ encourages its practitioners to make better use of their minds compared to other martial art forms. It can be compared to a chess match where both players are constantly defending and attacking with different moves of various significance.
Practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu successfully requires students to use different tactics and strategies, favouring the mental aspects of fighting over physical ones. This means each move is important and you need to stay ahead of your opponent tactically. Likewise, your opponent is doing exactly the same, so you’ll have to create a combat plan to react to different moves.
In this way, BJJ teaches students to effectively deal with different situations and improve their critical thinking and problem-solving. No other martial art form teaches fighters to bridge the gap between the mental and physical aspects of fighting the way BJJ does.
4. It Encourages You to Embrace Failure
When you start your training, you will often fail, but don’t let this discourage you. Though it may feel like you’re making countless mistakes, with practice you will learn to identify, address, and avoid or fix them.
When training on the mat to advance and execute submissions, you will be aware of your limbs as well as your opponent’s. In time, you will learn how to use diverse techniques to defend yourself. Once you start seeing improvements, you will feel motivated to push your limits. This is when you start seeing noticeable changes in your performance.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters rarely allow failure to get in the way of achieving their goals, whether it’s to compete or defend themselves. Instead, they look at it as a stepping stone towards success. Once you start practicing regularly, you find a way to develop this mindset and turn your weaknesses into strengths.
5. It’s the Start of a Lifelong Journey
Few of us ever face life or death situations. We’re more likely to die of diabetes, heart disease or stroke, among other illnesses associated with the current obesity crisis that the world, including Canada, is facing.
An effective way to stave off obesity is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and take part in moderate to high-intensity physical activity, like BJJ. Training involves strength and cardio conditioning through various anaerobic exercises that offer students a great workout routine. Furthermore, you will also need to monitor your diet to perform at your best when training. For many of us, training and feeling good is a stronger motivator to follow a healthy nutritional and lifestyle regime than a lecture from our doctor.
By making the sport an important part of your life, you will be better prepared to fight off muggers and disease (not necessarily in that order!) when the situation calls for it.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu can improve many different areas of your life. By training, you will become healthier and more confident and gain practical knowledge that can be used both inside and outside the training centre. This, in turn, will help you perform well under pressure when facing an opponent, whether on the streets, during training, or at the gym. These benefits apply to both children and adults. Remember, the more you train, the better you will become.