The Surprising Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

benefits-brazilan-jiu-jitsu-renoOn the surface, the benefits of practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seem obvious. There are the philosophical components – learning and living respect, showing compassion and honor, being goal-oriented, all rooted in martial arts as a whole – and then there are the physical perks, like improved speed, agility, flexibility and strength. But it’s the less obvious benefits of Brazilian jiu jitsu that have the biggest impact.

Physical benefits

  • Improving your health: After even just a month of consistent training, students feel and see physical changes. Maybe it’s flexibility or weight loss, maybe it’s endurance. And then there are the improvements to your health as a whole. While fitness is generally tied to aesthetics, the best part of working out is the health factor. The next time you’re getting submitted for the fourth time in a row, remember that you’re still taking care of your body and your health.
  • Improving body awareness: Breaking out of that slumped shoulder, slouched back posture – you know, the way most of us spend our day – is priceless. When you’re training BJJ, you learn to use your body in an efficient, functional manner. And when you improve that awareness of your body as a unit, you pave the way for improved strength and mobility. You’ll see these changes when you realize that drills that seemed next to impossible just a few weeks ago are getting easier.

mental benefits

  • Improved mental clarity: Learning BJJ techniques takes just as much mental focus as it does physical activity. You study a technique and then you learn how to apply it yourself through lots and lots of practice. In some cases, the execution of specific techniques in live rolling can take months, even years. This struggle to learn forges mental strength – the ability to keep going even when things seem impossible. And that’s a valuable skill to have on and off the mat.
  • Stress bustin’: Between watching your instructor demonstrate a new technique and drilling, BJJ takes focus. It brings you to the present moment, pushing thoughts of your bad day or other problems aside. It’s like a mental breather, and we all need those. Training also gives you an opportunity to release pent-up frustration. When you roll hard, you can let it all out. An hour or two later, and you’ll feel a lot better.

The takeaway

Students of BJJ come from all walks of life. Whatever brings them to the mat, they’re all leaving with the same benefits. The advantages of practicing BJJ are mental and physical, but it’s the less obvious benefits that may bring you the most good.

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