Discover the benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a grappling martial art, and combat sport that improves physical health, mental health, and well-being. Learn about the physical, mental, and social benefits of BJJ, as well as how to get started, master the art and compete. Find out about the importance of physical and mental preparation for a BJJ competition, and get tips on how to improve your performance.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling martial art and combat sport that has skyrocketed in popularity over the years. Originating in Brazil, BJJ focuses on grappling techniques and has been designed to give practitioners the ability to hold down and submit their opponents. BJJ is heavily technique based and has been proven to help a smaller and weaker person defeat a larger and stronger opponent, using pure technique and leverage. BJJ is a discipline that has been proven to be effective in self defense situations and competition. In this blog post, we will break down the benefits of BJJ, how to get started, how to master the art, and what to know before you compete.
The Benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
BJJ offers a multitude of physical, mental, and social benefits that can be carried over into all facets of life. BJJ is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life that can improve overall health, fitness, and well-being.
Physical Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
1. Its awesome exercise
BJJ is a full-body workout that involves a variety of low and high intensity efforts with little to no rest. Sparring rounds, often referred to as rolls, generally go for five minutes and you will normally do at least three to five a session, depending on the gym and class. This makes BJJ a great form of exercise that challenges your muscles, heart, and lungs, ultimately increasing your aerobic and anaerobic endurance and making you physically stronger.
2. Its a legit form of self defense
BJJ teaches you valuable and life saving self defense skills. It teaches you how to physically restrain another person, and apply submissions that could render your opponent unconscious or even destroy their joints. You also learn how to get out of bad situations on the ground.
3. You face challenges every session
There is so much to learn in BJJ, from positions, transitions, sweeps, submissions, and escapes. Not only will you learn a large variety of these but you will also learn how to put them together and create a system and learn to apply it under a pressured situation. On top of all this, you will also be physically challenged and will have to deal with larger, stronger opponents. Don’t let this deter you, BJJ is always a safe learning environment and as cliche as it sounds, you simply cannot succeed without failing numerous times.
4. Weight Loss
Training in BJJ is quite intense physically and you will find yourself, towards the end of the session, rolling around in pools of sweat. Intense rolling really makes you work using your whole body and you will find that you will burn a high amount of calories every session.
5. Its relevant for MMA
BJJ, Particulary No-Gi BJJ, is one of the staple styles in mixed martial arts and is practiced by all MMA fighters. It has a good success rate in MMA, so if you plan to learn or even compete in MMA it is vital that you know BJJ.
Mental Benefits of BJJ
1. It builds discipline
BJJ is both mentally and physically challenging. You will be beaten up and left sore after some sessions but as long as you keep showing up consistently you will not only improve at a quick rate but will develop stronger willpower and discipline which can be carried into other areas of life.
2. You learn to perform under pressure
You find when you first start training in BJJ your automatic instinct is to tense up and go really hard without breathing. Over time you will learn how to relax so you’re not unnecessarily wasting energy and have enough clarity in your mind to know what to perform next.
3. It builds humility
You will find, especially as a beginner, that you will be ‘humbled’ many times by more experienced practitioners. You will get held down and submitted and your ego will definitely take a hit. This still happens at all levels, it just tends to happen less the better you get. These humbling experiences are necessary and crucial for your BJJ journey.
4. You gain a degree of self confidence
As you progress your skillset, climb the belt ranks, and start to get some wins in the training room on a weekly basis you will start to notice you carry yourself a little better in day-to-day life. You will also start to get confidence in your own ability to defend yourself if a situation arises and that gives you a certain degree of confidence as you walk around in public.
5. It will clear your mind
I find that every time I’m in a BJJ class, my mind and focus is fully devoted to BJJ and the task at hand. Even if I had a bad day, experienced stress, etc, everything goes away once I’m in the training room. You will find that after some hard rolls you will be in a much better mood than when you entered the class.
BJJ is also a social sport as it brings people from all walks of life who share an interest in the sport. It builds a sense of community and friendship and you will have many opportunities to make new friends and form new relationships. You’ll find that trying to choke each other out is quite a bonding experience once it’s done! BJJ also encourages teamwork and sportsmanship, as practitioners will learn to work together to learn new things and also troubleshoot technical issues.
How to Get Started with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Getting started with BJJ is quite easy and straightforward. Firstly, you will need to find a gym, preferably close to you, that offers BJJ classes. A simple google search is a good place to start. Once you have found a gym that looks appealing to you, look at the timetable for a beginners class or contact the gym to ask about when you can come in for a trial. Almost all gyms offer free trials to beginners.
Next is to purchase essential equipment and gear. This will include a gi, belt, and mouthguard. If you’re looking to train in No-GI then you would need some shorts and a rashguard. If you can’t find where to buy these, the gym should sell all the required equipment. It is important to invest in quality gear that is comfortable and will last.
Finally, it is important to set out a realistic routine. It is ideal to train at least two or three times per week and you may gradually increase this depending on how you feel and if you have the time.
Mastering the Art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Mastering BJJ requires dedication and a strong work ethic. It’s important to start off with the fundamentals of the sport and build a strong foundation through consistent training and drilling. This all begins by just showing up. There will be days when you’re sore and drained but these are the days that you need to show up and will learn the most from.
Drilling is vital to your skill development as this is where you will be able to refine your technique and develop muscle memory. Drilling is done regularly in classes and is normally the longest part of all BJJ classes.
In addition to drilling, it is vital to involve yourself in live rolling sessions as much as possible. This is where you will learn to apply the techniques you have drilled in a controlled stressful environment. Rolling is a great way to push and challenge yourself and also learn from your mistakes. After a session, assess what you did well, what didn’t go well, and what needs tweaking and improving. It’ll be beneficial to seek advice from instructors and training partners.
Competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Competing in BJJ can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. It provides an opportunity to test your skills, techniques and to measure your progress against other practitioners who you haven’t rolled with before. It may be confronting at first as you may not know anything about your opponent, but this is where you will learn the most. An old coach of mine said one BJJ competition is like partaking in 20 training sessions!
Physical preparation is a must to succeed in a BJJ competition. It is important to be regularly training and be in good condition as you may have numerous matches and you would want to perform your best in all of them.
Mental preparation is vital to success in BJJ competition. It is important to note, everything you’re thinking, your opponent is too. Stay positive and have confidence in yourself and your ability. Positive self-talk prior to competition and on a daily basis is a great way to develop a strong and resilient mindset. Confidence also comes from knowing you are fully prepared and you have been turning up to training and putting in the work.
Training for Competition
Training for competition requires a specific and structured approach. It is important to focus on knowing what you’re good at and what works for you. Normally with BJJ competitions, you won’t know anything about your opponent, so it’s important to know what you’re good at and what you’re bad at and try to play your game during the match.
In conclusion, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not only a sport but a lifestyle that offers numerous physical, mental, and social benefits. It is a discipline that requires dedication, consistency, and hard work to master but provides a full-body workout and enhances focus, confidence, and teamwork. To get started, one can find a gym close by and invest in essential equipment, while setting a realistic training routine. For those looking to compete, physical and mental preparation are key, along with the ability to stay positive and confident in oneself. Whether you are looking to get fit, challenge yourself, or make new friends, BJJ has something to offer for everyone.