5 psychological benefits of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

jiu-jitsu practitioners competing against each other

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) has been all the rage in recent times and is one of the fastest growing forms of martial arts across different parts of the world today. It gained popularity in the 90s with the introduction of UFC and Royce Gracie's early fights. Ever since then, BJJ has garnered a large and devoted following.

BJJ has made a name for itself as a form of martial art which is extremely practical and functional, especially when compared to other combat sports such as wrestling or boxing. A number of famous personalities from all walks of life have since taken up the sport, and many have even gone on to write and speak about how BJJ has helped them in several ways. Many have described BJJ as a lot more than just a grappling art. Taking up this combat sport induces a plethora of physical as well as mental changes that go on to transform their lives in an extremely positive way. Practitioners of the martial art have often gone on to call the experience exceptionally addictive. Let’s look at the psychological benefits that many of the practitioners claim to have derived from this particular martial art.

Helps You Fight Stress

Brazilian Jiu jitsu is a physically intense and challenging form of exercise. It will leave you exhausted and crushed at the end of the day. However, at the same time, such an intense and physically and mentally demanding exercise will go on to induce the release of endorphins. This endorphin release helps to subdue stress. Furthermore, you will sleep better after you’ve been exhausted from all that strenuous exercise. When you see all that hard work paying off as you progress to achieve your fitness goals and build up your game to take down larger opponents, it will also go on create that feeling of satisfaction and achievement that will also trigger the release of endorphins.

Stay Calm under Pressure

When you first start off as a white belt, there will be times and situations when you will tense up. This is quite a typical mental response when you’re tossed into difficult and unknown situations all of a sudden. However, as you build yourself up in the sport, you will learn to stay calm even under these difficult situations. The game teaches you the significance of staying calm and conditions your mind to respond in a similar way both on and off the mat.

You will learn how staying calm is crucial especially in trying and dire situations as it helps you focus on finding the ways out or the solutions. This is an extremely useful mental ability that is the mark of most successful people.

A Confidence Booster

The philosophy of BJJ lies at the core of the practical and realistic approach of the training process. Students are pitted against other practitioners right from their very first day. Just like that, without any prior training or exposure to a fighting situation in life, they are tossed into a situation which demands extreme courage, strength, and willpower to maneuver through. The idea is to mimic a real life situation where you don’t get to choose who you’ll have to stand up against and will have no choice but to find a way to dominate your opponent. This sort of training breeds confidence in the practitioner. After all, confidence is simply the belief in your ability to get out of any difficult situation and it comes with enough exposure to such situations. 

Furthermore, as you progress and build up your technique and strength, you automatically start to believe even more in your ability. It gives you the confidence that if you try hard enough, you can achieve all your goals and overcome any difficulty in life.

Confidence in your abilities will benefit you in a number of ways in life and will make you much more likely to be successful.

Enhances Problem Solving Skills

You mind is constantly at work when you’re on the grappling with an opponent during your BJJ training. Your moves have to be extremely calculated. This combat sport is often likened to chess. The grappler has to constantly ensure that any of his moves do not give the opponent an advantage. At the same time, it is also imperative for them to study every move of the opponent and mind their surroundings to try to find a way to dominate the opponent. 

Jiu-jitsu is a very calculated game. Often, jiu-jitsu practitioners are planning several steps ahead and anticipating moves and counter moves. This way of thinking carries on to real life as well as the mind is conditioned to constantly seek solutions and plan ahead.

Teaches Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a modern concept in psychology that originates from eastern meditation. The concept is all about focusing on the present. It calls for casting off distant worries of the past or the future and staying aware of everything that is around in the present. This allows you to focus on the endless possibilities and the range of opportunities that the present might hold for you.

BJJ training conditions your mind to think more along these lines. You cannot possibly worry about your financial worries or the your issues back at college when a 90 kg opponent is constantly trying to pin you down on the ground and get you into that chokehold. As a result, you learn to focus all your mental abilities and resources to the problem at hand. This way of thinking has been shown to increase productivity and make you much more likely to succeed in life.

If the psychological benefits of this beautiful form of martial arts piqued your interest in the game, go ahead and visit our website to find out everything you need to know about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

John Porter

John is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt and founder of Livermore Supply Co. When not training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, John enjoys learning languages, traveling to the warm parts of the world, and photography. Outside of Livermore Supply Co., John has a career in the technology field.

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