Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not just good for exercise or learning how to defend yourself. There are plenty of additional benefits that you get from training in a sport as diverse and unique as BJJ. Some of them might be obvious, but there are some you may find surprising. Check out the most common benefits below to see why people are so addicted to Jiu Jitsu.
10 benefits you’ll gain from BJJ
What was your goal when you signed up for your first BJJ class? There are several answers you hear more often than others, like trying to do something physical that is fun and out of the ordinary, trying to learn self-defense, or learning to grapple better to prepare for an MMA fight.
Some people expect different benefits, which may have nothing to do with the physical side of things: increased confidence, improved mental health, or just to learn something new. In any case, I can guarantee that whatever your reason is, you’ll receive more benefits than you’ve bargained for from training BJJ.
1. Identifying limitations
One of the most interesting benefits is to see people discover that limits can be moved. I guess it is the modern lifestyle, but we often put a lot of artificial limitations on ourselves. They can be both physical and mental, and BJJ is there to guide you past lots of them.
Once you start rolling, you discover that your body is capable of doing much more than you thought it was. You’ve just never used it to its fullest potential until now.
What’s more important though, in an era of mental health issues is re-discovering the ability to remove certain mental limitations you might have placed on yourself. This is one of the things that is particularly true for me and I can freely claim that BJJ has transformed my life.
In short, you will start expecting (and getting) a lot more from yourself.
2. Sleep better because you know how to fight
Have you ever fought in a dream? It is not a fun thing to do, given that it seems you’re punching and kicking like you’re underwater and causing absolutely no damage to the other person while the other person does pack a punch. At the same time, you can’t even run in most cases.
Well, consider those dreams to be a thing of the past. No, I’m serious! Spend a few months of training, and, at least in your dreams, you’ll be executing perfect takedown, smooth transitions, and crushing submissions on everyone that dares challenge you. While it may come across as something that’s not much of a benefit it reveals a lot about how your subconscious becomes more confident and positive as your own confidence grows. Funny, but true.
3. The confidence factor
This one ties perfectly into the previous benefit. It is not just in your dreams that Jiu Jitsu provides you with increased confidence. In BJJ, you train in as realistic a manner as possible, while still being able to play. It is truly unique and it is perfect to show people what fighting is really about.
Being in close contact with people and trying to get to a position where you make them accept defeat (playfully and safely, of course) is one of the biggest confidence boosters ever. Being comfortable with close human contact, not panicking in the face of adversity, and knowing how to put someone to sleep are great ways to learn to believe in yourself.
As far as Jiu Jitsu benefits go, you can expect your confidence to be at an all-time high, especially when you’re not on the mats.
4. Learning to teach and communicate to large crowds
This is one of the Jiu Jitsu benefits that will take a bit of time. However, the moment you get a chance to teach, and one will come your way sooner or later, grab it! Even if you don’t think you’re “teacher material” just do it for the experience. The benefits are immense!
If you can, start helping out with the kids’ groups. However, starting to teach or demonstrate in any group is going to do wonders for you. You’ll find amazing things happen when you start teaching others BJJ. You’ll not just learn way more yourself, but you also get a sense of accomplishment and giving back to BJJ, while still learning it yourself!
5. Self-discipline and patience
Self-discipline is another thing most people need to work on. Whether it is restraint, perseverance, accountability, or anything else that falls under self-discipline, we can certainly do better. It is just too easy to ignore what we need to do, and instead, go for the comfortable thing.
Well, in BJJ you don’t have that luxury, and, accordingly, one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu benefits you’ll get is a certain level of mastery over yourself. How great, is up to you.
Patience is also something you’ll have to master in Jiu-Jitsu. As you progress, you’ll notice that the more patient you are, the better of the outcomes of rolls and matches are. In other words, you’ll (re)discover how rewarding delayed gratification can be. That, and you’ll get a better handle on any anger management issues you might have.
6. Learn anatomy (the hard way)
If you’re not a medical professional, you will gain quite the knowledge of human anatomy. I’m not talking only about understanding how limbs break, that’s easy. Expect to learn everything there is about ligaments, joints, tendons, and the various ways in which they can be injured.
Whether or not this is a real benefit I have no idea, but I know it has come in handy for me. Plus, you’ll never need to consult anyone on which knee or elbow brace is the best, as you’ll become an expert in the field.
7. A new community
Probably the most rewarding of all Jiu Jitsu benefits, in the long run, is the community. Rarely does anyone expect to walk into a martial arts gym and make friends for life. However, in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu this is a real possibility!
Every aspect of BJJ from how training is structured to competition teams and all the camp and travel experiences contributes to a worldwide community that’s growing by the day. In fact, you can expect a lot of your family members and friends that give BJJ a try to end up in the community along with you. And one thing is for sure, it is never boring around BJJ folks.
8. Enjoying physical contact…a bit too much
On the funnier side of things, a hidden benefit from BJJ is that you won’t mind when people get up close and personal. That doesn’t mean you’ll go looking for it, but most crowd experiences become a lot more bearable after you spend so much time in the weirdest possible positions, compressed by another human being’s body parts. The North-South position springs into mind as a good example.
I’ve heard people say that as a species we are intended to be in close contact with other humans. Whether or not that is true training Jiu Jitsu certainly ticks that box and will make you more comfortable around people in general.
This is probably the most obvious of our 10 Jiu Jitsu benefits. It doesn’t take long to realize that there’s no way you can have a huge ego and enjoy BJJ at the same time. Those two just don’t go together.
What you’ll learn is that you will always tap and there will always be someone better than you. Even when you become a black belt, you’ll be far from being unbeatable. What comes out of this realization is humility, and that is a trait you’ll find very useful in just about every walk of life.
10. Happiness and joy
People that train Jiu Jitsu are usually calm, laid back, and outgoing. Most of all, people that train Jiu Jitsu are happy. There is something about training that works as the best possible type of therapy for everyday life.
As annoyed, furious, or sad, as you may be an hour on the mats will leave you smiling and feeling joyful.
Most people expect the benefits they get from training to coincide with their goals. That is a great way of looking at things, and you won’t be disappointed. However, you can safely expect much more from BJJ, especially in the terms of “hidden” benefits. Why not make your entire life better, and yourself happier by participating in the best sport on the planet?