Benefits of Training Jiu JItsu
If you are reading this I’m going to assume your are considering starting your Jiu Jitsu journey or have begun and are trying to figure out what in the death-cuddling-pajama-murder is this shit all about?!?! And what are the benefits of training???
It’s no secret that martial arts get you in shape, perhaps way better than any other sports or excursuses. Brazilian jiu-jitsu in particular has made a name for itself for promotion many health benefits physical and mental. Thanks to these many benefits BJJ has to offer, the art attracts students worldwide.
However the benefits many experience go beyond just shedding a few pounds. If we are being honest there are way easier ways to do this. So before starting your Jiu Jitsu journey you should consider the full array of benefits BJJ training has to offer to help you better assess if the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle is for you.
WHAT IS BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU (BJJ)?
Before we get into the benefits on BJJ training, we need to understand what Jiu Jitsu is.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is based on ground fighting, also called ne-waza, and submission holds. It focuses on the using technique and leverage to take an opponent to the ground, controlling them, then progressing to dominant position, and finally using techniques to to submit via joint locks or chokeholds.
Due to the heavy emphasis on technique, when applied correctly Jiu Jitsu techniques can be used to over power much larger and strong opponents unlike many other martial art. If is in this point that many unique benefits of training Jiu Jitsu are derived from beyond a good cardio work out.
1: Benefits of jiu Jitsu: Weight Loss
When trying to loose weight most people stick with the traditional, and lets be real, fucking boring, routine! We try and dress up the fact we are running in the same spot on a stationary treadmill staring at a wall with all sorts of gimmicks. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with traditional radio/weight training when it comes to weight loss benefits.
What make Jiu Jitsu training unique in it’s ability to strip the pounds is that is essentially combines all facets of a work out into one. Imagine doing yoga, while bench pressing a 175lb dumbbell that is trying to kill you.
Due to the nature of Jiu Jitsu training as described above you will combine aerobic and anaerobic work coupled with dynamic movements and the full range of resistance in an average 5 minute round of rolling (sparring).
According to the My Fitness Pal calculator, a person who weighs 175 lbs and does Brazilian jiu jitsu will burn 825 calories in an hour. During a hard session my heart rate tracker has recorded and excess of 1000 calories in an hours rolling.
This intensity of work coupled with dynamic and varied movements is why we see may Jiu Jitsu practitioners start to see weight loss benefits as soon as they start.
2: Benefits of jiu Jitsu: Self Defense
As a martial art at it’s core the goal is to become proficient in combat. Naturally most people are hobbyists so combat outside of the gym in not the first thing on their mind. However Jiu jItsu in particular is possible one of, if not, the most effective form of self defense.
What makes Jiu Jitsu self defence benefits second to none? The key is in the definition described above, "the heavy emphasis on technique.” Any physical sport will naturally favor the strong and able, however Jiu Jitsu also creates a path for the small, weak and even physically impaired.
Where other martial arts rely on striking, a more strength driven activity, by relying on leverage and technique a lot of strength can be negated in Jiu Jitsu. As you train over time you will start to learn how to correctly apply techniques to over power much larger and stronger opponents.
I have seen tiny men and women destroy huge muscle packed opponents easily because they have an arsenal of techniques that negate any amount of strength. This makes Brazilian jiu-jitsu the perfect choice for learning self-defense, especially for women.
3: Benefits of jiu Jitsu: Cognitive and Mental
Due to the coupling of an extreme physical situations with the use, of at times, very complex techniques the mental benefits of Jiu Jitsu are second to none.
When training Jiu jItsu you are essentially placed in a simulated extremely stressful situation. You will typically roll (sparring) with an opponent trying to submit you. Let's be clear a submission is essentially simulated death. Naturally you should be in a good school that fosters a 100% safe and positive environment so all risk of real injury is mitigated.
In this situation you often cannot muscle or simply force your way out. As the round goes on you will get caught in a position tap and reset. During this process you may have milliseconds to assess your opponents movements, evaluate where you went wrong and readjust your movements to prevent or counter an opponents move. As you get to higher levels of Jiu Jitsu training this complex problem solving with happed at a 1000 miles an hour over milliseconds.
As you do this over time you will find, like a muscle, you reinforce certain cognitive patterns that are beneficial way beyond the confines of the gym. Not for nothing else once you spend your evening getting strangled and mangled everything else seems much less stressful. You confidence will in crease as you begin to realize with the correct thought process and methodical application of techniques nearly all of lifespan’s issues can be overcome leading to an overall healthier mental state.
4: Benefits of jiu Jitsu: Lifestyle
There are other benefits to training Jiu Jitsu beyond physical abilities and being a part of a community and lifestyle is just one such benefit.
If I am being very honest Jiu Jitsu training is fucking hard. Once you have found your own reasons and continue to train longer you will find less people stick around. Those that do tend to form a tight knick community and foster a certain ’type’.
The beauty of the lifestyle is that this 'type’ will include all walks of life that would probably never meet outside of the matts. The commonality produced from training a very difficult martial arts and sharing the same struggles pushes people closer and you are often left with a positive, energetic, and ambitious group of people that you will often remain closer to in and outside of the gym.
Aside from the social network people often find the longer they train the deeper into the lifestyle they get. As we get more serious with training, getting better becomes the focus. Due to the intense nature of the training we find we no longer can afford to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle outside of the gym as this will impact the quality of our time inside the gym We begin to cut back on alcohol, improve diet and meditate to maintain a better metal state.
As such many people find a wholistic benefit to their lifestyle outside of the Jiu Jitsu training alone.
To sum up the benefits of training Jiu jItsu can be felt in the physical and mental as well as inside and out of the gym. This is often why the first rule of Jiu Jitsu, is to never shut the fuck up about Jiu Jitsu.
Among the many martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the greatest ones because its benefits are amazing. There are so many benefits of BJJ training!
If you are looking for a activity to help make you a stronger, more athletic, and mentally-resilient person, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of your best options.