There’s a reason why almost everybody who practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) encourages their friends and family to do the same.
In fact, there’s more than just one reason. Whether it is because you want to improve your overall health and fitness, confidence, meet new people, or want to compete and test your skills against other competitors; arguably nothing is more valuable than the way BJJ positively changes the way you think.
You may notice some of these effects immediately, while some will continue to develop as you continue to train. A person stepping inside a BJJ gym for the first time and strapping a white belt around their waist is almost guaranteed to experience many of these positive influences as soon as the first day. On the other hand, a well-practiced black belt is still developing their mind and body many years after they have begun.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five of the most significant ways that BJJ positively influences the way you think.
1) Enhanced concentration
Possibly the most significant of all mental changes is the way BJJ enhances your ability to concentrate.
Concentration is an ability that is often neglected. Many people believe that some people are just naturally better at concentrating than others. However, it is not that simple.
By putting yourself in a situation that requires you to concentrate, you will be training not only the physical attributes that come from learning BJJ, but you will also be advancing your mind. In order to apply the movements, techniques, and strategies that are being taught by your instructor, students are required to concentrate and pay attention to the instructions.
As a result, you are instinctually training your mind and improving your ability to concentrate and retain information. This is not the type of exhausting concentration that you may have experienced before an exam in the past. Instead, this attention is a byproduct of the next noticeable mental improvement from training BJJ – increased determination.
2) Increased determination
Why are people who train BJJ entirely willing to concentrate and learn new techniques and strategies? They are determined to achieve and succeed, of course.
Every journey in BJJ begins with a white belt wrapped around the waist. There are two ways you can look at the BJJ white belt. Either it represents a newcomer who knows the bare minimum of the sport, or it is a symbol of somebody who has taken the pledge to learn and improve their skills and abilities.
After all, your white belt will not stay that color forever, especially if you begin attending training often.
To improve, however, it takes the determination to do so. The chances are that on your first day of training, you will encounter a movement or technique that you never thought you would be able to complete. Whether it takes minutes, hours, or weeks to become capable of achieving the desired result, it is the determination which is the key to eventual success. If you refuse to learn and simply give up at the prospect of something that seems too complicated, it is impossible to learn and improve.
You will soon realize that this applies to all walks of life. It is difficult to ever achieve if you do not express and act on the determination to do so.
Some people who attend BJJ classes do not just have the desire to improve their physical ability and level of self-defense, however. There is also a world of competitors out there who actively participate in BJJ competitions and tournaments to test their skills against others. This is one of the highest levels of determination within the sport; next would be the passion and interest in coaching other students.
3) Improved strategic thinking
BJJ is frequently compared to chess. It is a comparison that is entirely appropriate despite the obvious differences in physical requirements between the two activities.
There aren’t many other sports which come to mind that have the same depth of analytical and strategic thinking just like BJJ does.
Every technique or movement in BJJ has a distinct purpose. Everything is connected. A technique is often a strategy to counter a specific action of another person, or it might alternatively represent taking the first step and ‘attacking’ your opponent.
Every move you make presents an opportunity for your opponent, and every action that your opponent makes is an opportunity for you to respond.
BJJ is a sport of position and submission. In competition, you need to be one or two steps ahead of your opponent to defeat them. Merely reacting to their movements is often not enough.
Training BJJ will develop your ability to create forward-thinking strategies rather than be reactive. Of course, this is a desirable skill through all walks of life, particularly in business.
4) Better perspective on life & work/life balance
Unlike some of the other ways that BJJ can change the way you think, a better perspective on life and an improved work/life balance can be immediately noticeable.
Strangely enough, most people who have a poor work/life balance are not fully aware of it. These people are happy to work ridiculous hours to achieve career success. The problem with this, though, is that focusing entirely on your career can be incredibly draining.
It is also likely that those with a poor work/life balance are the same who claim that they do not have enough time to train BJJ.
You know what happens the first time these people step onto the BJJ mats in the gym? They realize that they have dedicated much of their life to their career and not invested time into hobbies that provide not just enjoyment but actual benefits too.
5) Feel positive and happier
This one may be more noticeable to people other than yourself at first. At an overall level, your friends and family will definitely realize your increased happiness.
Nearly everyone who trains BJJ claims that they are happiest while they are training. This is also a benefit that outlasts the time in the gym. Those who learn BJJ arrive home in a positive mood and feel like they can continue to tackle important tasks to close out your day.
The best way to test it, of course, is to compare the emotional differences in somebody after a week without training compared to consistent BJJ training. The difference is tremendous.
So whether you’ve been thinking about trying out BJJ for a while or have just learned about the art recently, it’s best to dive in a give it a try. Sign up for a complimentary trial class and start to experience all the aforementioned benefits for yourself!
Book your complimentary trial class with our World Champions below!