Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), also known as “The Gentle Art”, is one of the most prolific martial arts disciplines in the world. Its roots trace back to Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, before it was brought over to Brazil and developed into a completely fluid grappling system.
Compared to striking martial arts like boxing or Muay Thai, where speed and power dominate, BJJ places greater focus on techniques and strategy, with purposeful movements that can immobilize and incapacitate opponents of any physical makeup.
Perhaps that is why people are drawn to BJJ training. Although it can be intimidating at first, with students donning the Gi, and rolling on the mats, once you give it a try, you quickly understand its appeal. It’s no doubt one of the most addicting martial arts to train. People who take up BJJ usually dedicate years of their lives to training.
2021 is the perfect year for you to get into BJJ. It’s great for kids and adults, too. If you want to get fit or try out a new and exciting activity this year, why not enroll yourself and your loved ones in a BJJ class? There are many benefits to training in BJJ, and many of the principles you learn can easily be adapted to your personal life.
Just be warned that once you’re hooked, you may never be able to stop. BJJ is more than just a sport – it’s a way of life. Today, Evolve Daily shares five reasons why 2021 is the year you need to start training in BJJ.
1) Improve your physical conditioning
BJJ has a much different approach to fitness compared to other martial arts. It places a lot of emphasis on flexibility, functional strength, and leverage, not so much on aerobic fitness per se. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get you into shape.
The physical exertion in BJJ training can burn lots of calories, just like faster-paced striking martial arts, and can help you melt away the fat just as easily. At the same time, you’ll add extra flexibility in your limbs and joints, given the nature of the discipline. The muscles surrounding joints firm up and get lean, providing more strength and support. Your grip will also improve considerably.
The above aforementioned are just a small amount of a bigger picture. There are many other physical benefits to BJJ training that will improve the way you function as a human being in and out of the gym.
BJJ is just as effective as turning you into an athlete as any other sport, given you truly dedicate your time and effort to it.
2) Become a better problem solver
The crux of BJJ is being able to solve unique problems on the mat. It’s essentially the slide puzzle of martial arts, the difference being that it is time-sensitive, and that any mistake could be your last. In this sense, BJJ teaches us to become much better problem solvers by training us to think a few steps ahead of everything happening, and crafting our path to victory with carefully planned moves.
Each practitioner looks at an opponent as a potential problem to solve. Every match becomes a race to solve each other’s puzzles.
While you try to avoid becoming a human pretzel, the mind is hard at work both attacking and defending. This simultaneous training of the mind and body develops the ability to keep the mind sharp under pressure, and the acuity that comes as a result spills over to non-gym activities. The skill of developing solutions in shorter periods of time is invaluable in any real-life scenario.
As a BJJ practitioner, you’ll taste defeat time and time again, especially as you test your skills against more experienced players in a BJJ class. Learning how to embrace failure, the resilience built in getting up and trying again after each loss is valuable in any facet of life.
3) Learn how to end fights quickly and safely
Experts always refer to BJJ as the most effective 1-on-1 martial art to end fights quickly and with the least amount of resistance.
If you look up “best martial art for self-defense” on Google, BJJ will always be at the top spot on any list. The main objective of BJJ is to neutralize an opponent by immobilizing and incapacitating. If your assailant can’t move at all, then he can’t exactly mount his assault. That’s BJJ’s main principle.
Other principles that guide BJJ’s ideologies make it the safest martial art to counter any volatile situation without incurring much damage. It also promises to teach you how to use your physical self to handle much larger and stronger opponents. In contrast with other disciplines, size doesn’t have much say about the outcome of a match, but rather sound technique.
Since you basically neutralize the opponent’s size and strength advantage by bringing the fight to the ground, it becomes up to the person with better techniques to decide how things end. This makes BJJ one of the best disciplines for women, who are typically at a physical disadvantage.
4) It’s a new lifestyle
More than just a sport or a martial art that you practice and train, BJJ is a lifestyle, perhaps more than any other martial art in comparison. BJJ truly transforms you into living out its principles.
Many people who take up BJJ become obsessed with its teachings. Pop singer Demi Lovato, actor and director Ashton Kutcher, action movie icon Keanu Reeves, and even the late Anthony Bourdain all fell in love with BJJ and made it an integral part of their lives.
Furthermore, you’ll form unbreakable bonds with the people you meet on the mats. They become your comrades for life. Together, you embark on a learning journey, where you help each other progress through the different stages of training. You hold each other accountable for your development, and encourage each other to get the most out of life. That sort of community isn’t unique to BJJ, but it is perhaps the strongest.
BJJ will change your life for the better. Those looking for a new beginning in 2021, this could be your ticket.
5) Give you a sense of accomplishment
The time you spend training on the mats, honing your skills, will no doubt give you an unparalleled sense of accomplishment. Progressing through the different belt levels, though extremely difficult, is both satisfying and rewarding.
BJJ is the perfect example of the importance of the journey, rather than the destination. In this martial art particularly, you will enjoy every step of the way. You’ll work hard in the gym, on the mats, and your first submission will become an indelible memory.
While the rush of triumph is enough to send you into euphoria, your tangible evidence of growth will boost your confidence like nothing ever has before. The sense of accomplishment only grows greater as you rise through the ranks.
It’s a feeling you can’t ever get enough of, and you’ll spend the rest of your life committed to mastering the gentle art. Don’t accept anything less.
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