Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is not just one of the fastest growing sports in the world AND one of the most effective self-defense systems BUT it is also a lifestyle.
The “BJJ Lifestyle” is a term that you will often hear once you begin training but what does it mean?
Many of the benefits of BJJ go beyond what takes place on the mat and have an impact on other aspects of your life. It is these benefits are some of the most life-changing ones.
As an academy owner, I have found that most people who begin BJJ classes are looking for some physical benefits, such as losing weight or getting into shape. Luckily, for them, time and time again, I have seen, first-hand, people making great physical changes including incredible weight loss, increased physical strength and improved flexibility, all with continued practice of BJJ.
It is important to realize that even though you might be getting submitted a lot, when you first begin training, that you are still doing something positive for your health.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also one of the greatest ways to improve your mobility. After being sedentary all day, practicing Jiu-Jitsu engages your entire body. Your body needs to be really coordinated and move as a unit. There are many mobility drills and exercises, which are usually part of the warmup, that activate your entire body and jumpstart your physical coordination.
I have also noticed a great difference in the nutrition and diets of my students which happens organically over time. Many people notice that if they eat something too heavy or not very nutrient dense that they feel sluggish when they train or that they won’t recover properly. This leads them to really watch the foods that they eat both prior to class, as well as, after class to ensure they can make the most out of their training and their recovery so that they can train at their full potential.
BJJ has both physical and mental benefits. Keeping both your body and mind sharp is essential for success in Jiu-Jitsu. Learning a new technique and trying to implement it into your game takes a lot of physical and mental practice. For one thing, it is extremely difficult to learn something new and get your body to cooperate and effortlessly move the way you expect. Secondly, learning the timing so that you can add it to your game takes a lot of drilling and visualization and understanding the situation. Also, it takes great mental strength and focus to not get discouraged when it doesn’t work right away.
In BJJ, just as in life, you need to be able to push through the struggles until you reach your goal. Jiu-Jitsu really teaches you that drilling and practice eventually will lead to success and it shows you how to problem solve until you have obtained your goal.
After a long day at work or school, you can walk into the academy and your stresses will disappear. The last thing you want to think about when someone is trying to armbar or choke you is your rough day at the office.
What you can’t see is really what the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle is about. It’s taking the lessons learned on the mat and applying them to your everyday life.