Here’s How A BJJ Class Helps Develop Critical Thinking

The idea that all opinions are equal is problematic. An opinion that is supported by fact, science, or relevant information is – of course – more accurate than opinion backed by biases.

Critical thinking, now more than ever before, is vitally important. And you might be surprised to learn that a BJJ class in Singapore can help develop critical thinking.

Advancements in technology have resulted in the development of new devices, platforms, and the shift in the way we receive and interpret information. These same developments have also resulted in what has become an endless supply of information that is readily available online. Have you ever stopped to consider how much information we must process and evaluate on a daily basis? Can you imagine what it is going to be like in 20 or 30 years time?

A simple Google search has become so embedded in our routines, and there are limited rules and regulations as to what information people can discover on the Internet. On a global scale, ‘fake news’ became one of the hottest topics following the most recent United States election. Thankfully in Singapore, the ‘fake news’ epidemic has yet to rear its head.

Critical thinking is therefore required more than ever before considering the continually increasing exposure to information online.

Despite this, the development of a child’s critical thinking ability is regularly overlooked. Yes, children are engaged in numerous classes that cover the basics of a decent education, but without the ability to think, process, analyze, and evaluate information for themselves, even the smartest mathematician may lack the critical thinking ability to make and form important opinions.

Prior studies of critical thinking show critical thinking “to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference.” Furthermore, critical thinkers have the habitual tendencies to be “open-minded, inquisitive, trustful of reason, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, diligent in seeking relevant information, and reasonable in the selection of criteria.”

Despite all of this, critical thinking remains as one of the more difficult skills to teach. The problem has been that critical thinking has been taught in a way that is outdated and ineffective. Research undertaken by staff at Portland State University found that “traditional critical thinking content may not be sufficient to improve a student’s attitudinal disposition or even a critical thinking skill set.”

The paper also concluded that “training methodologies similar to those used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other realistic combat arts like Western boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and college wrestling should constitute a pedagogical core of college critical thinking courses.”

Today, Evolve Daily brings you “Here’s How A BJJ Class Helps Develop Critical Thinking”.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and critical thinking


BJJ World Champion Teco Shinzato demonstrates a technique in a BJJ class at Evolve MMA (Far East Square) in Singapore.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu kicked into gear in 1993 when Royce Gracie showcased the effectiveness of BJJ in the battlegrounds of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

At the time, there were countless varieties of martial arts – some more common than others – all over the world. The problem before the UFC was that there was no legitimate way for anyone to test the realistic capabilities of each sport. So when Gracie entered the Octagon in 1993 and used his expert knowledge and understanding of BJJ to avoid harm and eventually defeat the significantly larger and more powerful boxers, wrestlers, and other martial artists in front of him, the world started to take notice.

Read more: The History and Origins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

At the time, BJJ was incredibly different from other martial arts. While other martial arts were primarily built upon a web of lies, the entire growth of BJJ was due to an intense focus on testing and verifying techniques and strategies in an actual scenario with your training partners. The idea of a BJJ class, of course, was to practice and develop the methods that work and ignore those that are ineffective. This was a breath of fresh air for the students out there who were looking to learn a practical martial art.

BJJ doesn’t hide behind lies to attract and retain students. It is a sport that teaches appropriate combat sports technique that can be used in real-life scenarios and this was proven when Gracie stepped into the Octagon in 1993. It’s also one of the most dominant forms of martial arts on the world stage today, as well. There’s no need to promote false statements and claims because even the best BJJ practitioners and instructors in the world understand that there is always more to learn and perfect.

It’s for this primary reason why a BJJ class helps develop critical thinking ability. It aids the development of your ability to collate, evaluate, and analyze information.


Collating, evaluating, and analyzing information

BJJ class Teaching

BJJ World Championships Silver Medalist Almiro Barros explains a concept during a BJJ class at Evolve MMA (Orchard Central) in Singapore.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wouldn’t be where it is today without the embedded requirement of critical thinking.

In reality, the entire martial art is based on critical thinking. The World Champions at Evolve MMA, for example, did not spontaneously create techniques and strategies and begin instructing these methods. Instead, they collated, evaluated, analyzed and applied all of the information that has been passed their way through the ten or more years that they have been practicing.

By participating in a BJJ class, students are actively engaged and required to think and apply their judgment to a whole range of new ideas and concepts.

The best thing about BJJ and other “realistic combat arts” is that there is often instantaneous feedback. If something does not work, you will become aware quickly and make changes to ensure that it works or investigate the concept further to understand it. To advance in BJJ, it requires the ability to consolidate techniques that work and dismiss those that are not effective.

Not only do will you experience tremendous physical benefit by participating in a BJJ class, you will also significantly advance your critical thinking skills.

An advanced critical thinking ability can help people make important decisions, form their own judgment, handle high-pressure scenarios, and overall become much more likely to succeed in whatever path they choose.

Could someone succeed without the ability to investigate, question, and evaluate information?

Maybe. But they’re playing against the odds. Especially in this modern era.


So if you are looking to get an edge and sharpen your critical thinking ability, give BJJ a try. Signing up for a complimentary trial class is the easiest way to try a BJJ class in Singapore.

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