Brazilian jiu-jitsu is perhaps the most effective and the hardest martial art in the World. But, if you decide to step on the mats and put on a gi, jiu jitsu will take you on the emotional journey full of passion and learning. What’s more, Brazilian jiu-jitsu will change your life.
The truth is, have you ever met or know a BJJ practitioner who is a bad person? We know this may sound weird, but all jiu-jitsu students are the most positive people you can meet. They are always friendly and have a big smile on their faces. This is mainly because jiu-jitsu is not just a combat sport. The technique itself is built on a high amount of respect and honor. Inside the gym, every student has to behave a proper way, show discipline and be respectful towards the coaches and other teammates. Yet, there is always time for good laughs and stories.
Although this all sounds nice and encouraging, for many people it isn’t. Jiu-jitsu will test your weaknesses many times and do everything it takes to destroy your ego. Logically, many people have a hard time overcoming this kind of obstacle.
But, if you stay committed and focused on growing both as a martial artist and person, you can enjoy many positive changes outside the gym as well. That said, we are bringing you the 10 ways Brazilian jiu-jitsu will change your life.
1. It will teach you how to take control over your life
One of the most important things you can learn on the mats is how to take control of your life. As we all know, life is very unpredictable and every person has to go through rough times. The lack of control on the mats and in life is something that makes most people anxious. But when the troubles come, will you be the spectator sitting beside or you will react and take control?
BJJ teaches you how to look at troubles from a more positive perspective and make objective decisions. As in life, you can’t have total control on the mats no matter how proficient you are. But constant failures and hard times in the gym will only help you grow. Instead of giving up and blaming someone else, you will learn how to stay committed to your goals and go through the troubles with a positive mindset.
Of course, the responsibility for your actions and self-awareness will instantly transfer to the life outside the gym as well. You will face many life challenges with a clear mind and the ability to make rational decisions.
2. BJJ teaches you how to stay relaxed
During the training sessions, you will find yourself being in many unpleasant situations. So, the jiu-jitsu experience might be very tough for beginners, and that’s normal. This is mainly because you are reacting impulsively when being in a stressful situation.
We agree, trying to relax and remain calm while someone is squeezing your neck is easier said than done. But impulsive reactions and panic could lead to more intense situations and even injuries in some cases.
To really enjoy the experience and be successful on the mats, you must learn how to keep your cool. Above all, you must learn how to breathe correctly. You will be amazed at how fast you can improve the technical aspects and quality of your life with this simple trick.
As humans, we all have a tendency to forget about breathing when we are in a tense situation and this makes things even worse. Instead of calming ourselves down, the lack of oxygen does the opposite thing. It forces the mind to work even faster, and you can quickly end up in panic mode.
The great thing is, you don’t have to attend some classes or spend a lot of effort into learning how to breathe and relax. Begin by taking deep breaths every time you feel anxious. Instead of overthinking and overreacting, shift your focus on breathing and calming your mind down.
3. Check your ego at the door
Brazilian jiu-jitsu doesn’t recognize any kind of arrogant or even aggressive behavior. So, if you don’t check your ego at the door, it might end up being broken shortly after. As said above, BJJ is all about honor and respect. Every student has to maintain high discipline and listen to the instructors.
The thing is, our ego makes us feel comfortable in our own skin. The ego will never allow us to be wrong or admit that we’ve made a mistake. As you may expect, this is the total opposite of what jiu-jitsu requires from any person. Yes, you will get submitted over and over but believe in yourself and take every tap as a lesson.
The only way you can learn and advance through the belt ranks and is to leave the ego at the door and be honest about yourself. In the BJJ world, no one cares how you look or how bad you are on the mats. What’s more, the instructors are encouraging students to speak about their mistakes and weaknesses.
This way, you will gain the mutual trust necessary for learning and improving. Also, being humble and open to hearing other people’s opinions will certainly improve your life outside the gym. Both in business and at home, the relationships you have with other people will become much stronger.
4. BJJ boosts your confidence
Brazilian jiu-jitsu will put you out of the comfort zone on a daily basis. You will always meet new tests and accomplishing small tasks. Instead of feeling anxious, your confidence will grow with every small achievement. Thus, every person will feel more confident during unpredictable situations both in the gym and in life.
During the sessions, you will roll with much bigger teammates. Although this sounds terrible, it isn’t. You must learn how to overcome strength disadvantages, stay calm in stressful situations and always use your mind. All this gives you the incredible confidence to achieve anything you set your mind to. This may sound odd for a beginner who’s getting beat up on the training sessions. But be patient, your time will come soon.
While you are improving on the mats and your confidence is growing, you will spot that this transfers in the outside world as well. All the things that you’ve learned in the gym will subconsciously begin applying in everyday life.
5. BJJ will get you in the phenomenal shape
Watching two people rolling on the mats may look easy to some people. But this can’t be further from the truth. Jiu-jitsu classes are one of the hardest out of all martial arts. Yet, you don’t have to be very strong or powerful to do jiu-jitsu. Remember, the concept of BJJ is to allow a smaller person to defend against a much stronger attacker.
BJJ requires all muscle groups in the body to work together during the rolling sessions. This will not only help you get in shape, but it allows you to evenly improve both upper and lower body segments. Also, we don’t have to mention you will become very flexible and agile which can prevent many injuries from occurring.
Behind the fit body are always a lot of sweat, pain, and dedication. Since the body is cooperating closely with the mind, you will become mentally fit as well. You can easily transfer this form of self-discipline to life outside the gym and become more productive in your activities.
6. You will become more patient
The jiu-jitsu progress is very slow and requires much time. To become a black belt, a person must spend many years on the mats and be consistent. That said, prepare to put great effort and sacrifice many things in order to achieve your goals.
Being dominated on the mats can be discouraging and frustrating at times. Also, you may become stuck at a certain level for months, and this can be a huge impact on your ego. But, the ability to stay patient and take all this as a lesson is key on how to go through these hard periods. Also, patience is the key to performing on the mats as well. Sometimes, you need to wait for the perfect opening to attack and be safe while defending.
What’s more, constantly rushing on mats will only slow you down. That said, patience will allow you to look at jiu-jitsu from a different point of view. You will begin enjoying the time on the mats and having more respect for the technique.
7. You will learn a lot about your strengths and weaknesses
Jiu-jitsu will put your mind and body to the test right from the first moment you start rolling with other people in the gym. At the beginnings, every student has to eat many humble pies. Sooner or later, every weakness you have will get exposed on the mats. But over time, you will begin spotting the areas you are good at and not so good at. This realistic approach will help you focus on the things that are seeking improvements and can make you better.
Having the ability to acknowledge the weaknesses can boost your progress as well. Instead of doing things wrong and getting stuck, you will make every session more productive. Also, understanding where you at on the mats is very important. This way you can use the opponent’s weaknesses or advantage in your favor.
Once you start submitting people, you will gain the necessary motivation to continue learning. In life, there is nothing better than knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It will help you make rational decisions and keep yourself from uncertain and stressful situations.
8. You will meet many new friends
Brazilian jiu-jitsu includes a lot of live rolling and sharing close contact with a variety of people. Through the shared physical and verbal experiences on the mats, every person learns a lot about the technique and can meet many new friends.
What’s more, BJJ gyms are full of the positive atmosphere and people ready to help each other. Whether you are a shy person or not, jiu-jitsu will allow you to open yourself to other people and share your passion.
Also, when you commit yourself to BJJ, be ready to have less of a social life than before. But you can always share a good laugh or chat with your friends at the gym. What’s more, these relationships are unique since you are all sharing the same passion and pushing each other towards similar goals.
9. You will improve the overall quality of life
Training jiu-jitsu three or more times a week requires a lot of energy and durability. During all those rolling sessions, your body and mind are going through huge stress. At one point, the body and mind will start to break. To prevent this from happening, you have to change some things.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a slightly more experienced practitioner, the pain will catch you at some point. So, this will force you to care about your body more and doing various stretching or yoga exercises at home. This will help the body recover and stop it from possible injuries.
Since you need a lot of energy for the classes, most people begin experimenting with various diets and health regimes. Whatever way of eating you choose, it will be much better than the previous one for sure. The goal is to take a lot of healthy vitamins, proteins and other stuff that will increase your performance and durability.
However, this will also positively affect your life outside the gym. Being consistent with the classes, eating healthy food and taking care of your body will give you an incredible amount of energy. What’s more, you will become healthier than ever and better at every single thing you do.
10. You will develop a strong mentality
As you have realized thus far, everything about jiu-jitsu is hard. Many times, it will force you to rethink if BJJ is something you enjoy and want to succeed in. But don’t let your mind play with you.
As the famous quote says “a black belt is a white belt that never gave up.”
Everyone was once a beginner and we all had to go through the same things you are going now. It doesn’t get any real than that.
Further, this hasn’t stopped thousands of BJJ practitioners from achieving their goals, and it won’t stop you either. With the right coaches behind and positive people to train and grow with, anyone can achieve its BJJ goals. As in life, continuously falling down and getting back up will only help you grow and develop a strong mentality.
We have to say this is the coolest thing about BJJ. There is no greater thing than knowing that whatever bad happens in life, you will have the mentality to deal with it.