BJJ is a martial art first and foremost, but it is also a journey for self-improvement. Getting good at it will require a great deal of commitment as you learn various principles and master different maneuvers.
So it should be no surprise that, yes, BJJ absolutely can change your life. In fact, it's incredibly beneficial for those who are doing just that. If you're curious why, then read on!
Teaching You Self-Defense
Easily the most obvious benefit of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is how it can tech you how to fend for yourself. It's particularly noteworthy, however, in that it is among the best martial arts that you can learn for self-defense.
It utilizes ground fighting techniques, many of which involve using an attacker's own strength against them. Through careful movements, you'll reduce the number of options an opponent has to beat you and control the flow of a fight.
This kind of training allows you to disable your opponents regardless of their strength, all without even needing to throw a single punch!
To achieve this, you'll be learning a ton about chokes and holds to gain leverage over your opponent. With strict and diligent practice, you'll be able to apply these into actual real life situations.
Don't assume that it's only good for a street scuffle though. Even though it's primarily used as a self-defense system, BJJ can still definitely be used offensively.
This is something professional athletes themselves have realized: many of BJJ's principles have been carried over to MMA, and its techniques remain a prominent sight in UFC.
Those who practice BJJ understand that they have an incredibly valuable skillset, topped off with a mind and body that has been conditioned for focus, flexibility, strength, and sheer will.
A Lively Community
The BJJ community is full of passionate members who have fallen in love with the sport. Whether it's because of the benefits it provides, the kind of skillset it offers to teach, or even just the kind of people it has, there are millions of people all over the world who go back to the mats everyday.
From patient instructors who will understand you but still push you to do better, to fellow jujitsukas who you can make long-lasting bonds with, BJJ fosters an environment that encourages people to help one another overcome obstacles and challenge each other to perform better.
And there is no arrogance anywhere here either. Don't get me wrong, people do feel pride for the belts they've earned--it took them years to get those, after all--but you'd be hard-pressed to find an aura of superiority amongst those with higher ranks than you.
In BJJ, it's understood that it's not about the color of your belt. It's not even about how good you are. It's about how hard you try to become the best version of yourself that you can be.
The sport itself is founded on principles like that: BJJ is built in such a way that anyone can learn it, and proper training and dedication can allow you to be achieve proficiency, regardless of your strength or size.
So you can safely bet that BJJ will offer you more than just self-defense skills. Expect a vast community built on the principles of discipline, focus, and mutual respect.
One of the more subtle ways that BJJ can change your life is by encouraging you to build healthy routines and habits.
This is a consequence of the way it's built: in order to become proficient, you first need to be consistent. Just going to your dojo whenever you nab the chance won't do you any favors. Practicing a maneuver a few times for a few sessions won't help you very much either.
Putting in the hours in your dojo will help you foster discipline and understand the importance of focus. Regular training will allow you to build up discipline and commitment, which are essential for success in any area of life.
Training in BJJ will also tech you to stay committed to your health. The sport makes for a wonderful full-body workout, keeping you fit while also improving your strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
You'll feel motivated to maintain this kind of physical fitness when you're already pouring in so much of yourself into the sport. It'll be worth it though: you can expect to burn about 400 to 600 calories every single session--and to think you'll be learning self-defense on top of that!
Better Mental Health
An oft-overlooked aspect of BJJ, and of martial arts in general, is how it can improve your mental health.
And that actually makes sense, given that this is a highly physically-oriented combat sport. But BJJ practitioners often benefit from a greater sense of self-worth, heightened self-esteem, and better overall confidence when compared to their peers.
There are noticeable short-term benefits as well: going to the dojo allows you to stay focused, and it can reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
Plus, because you'll be surrounded by like-minded people who are just as happy to be there as you are, you can expect a strong therapeutic effect in training. After all, it's an environment where you can learn from and bond with those around you, so it's easy to feel as if you belong.
Like we mentioned prior, BJJ is effective for building confidence. Taking the time to focus on yourself, giving yourself the chance to become a better person, invariably leads to you learning to love yourself better and accept yourself for who you are.
You'll even feel this way the more you progress in BJJ. As you improve in sparring or win in competitions, you'll feel an overall sense of accomplishment for your achievements, allowing you to understand your own capabilities and build up your own confidence.
This is even more so the case when we consider that BJJ is an individual sport. There are no teams involved when you go up against someone; it's just you and them. It's daunting, but that also means that your achievements are really and truly yours.
Finally, because you'll be trained to handle potential assailants, different types of stressful situations won't be as much of a bother to you.
Obviously, these things aren't immediately comparable. A sudden assailant is likely leagues different from the dozen other things that normally scare or stress people out.
But the point here is that you will be better trained to handle uncomfortable situations. You will learn to remain calm, no matter what it is you're up against. That, inevitably, leads to a boost in confidence.
Conclusion: A Path Towards Self-Improvement
The benefits you get from BJJ just can't be overstated. You'll find improvements to your physical fitness, mental health, your habits, and even your sense of self-worth. It's helped millions of people all over the world by now, and there's no doubt that yes, it can change lives.
Curious about what other martial arts can change your life? Check out muay Thai here!