The benefits of BJJ extend far. So far, in fact, that it equips you to reinvent yourself completely. Of course, it doesn’t come without its challenges. There is a steep learning curve, and you’ll never be without aches and pains.
This may come as a shocker, but nobody likes discomfort. But growth happens outside your comfort zone. This is why it’s normal to be uncomfortable in the process. (Especially true when you’re working on improving yourself.)
For example, when you want to eat healthier, you find yourself craving junk food. When learning to cook, you’ll find yourself in many kitchen disasters. BJJ makes your limbs uncoordinated, and you’ll make many mistakes before you get it right.
(Why does achieving good things have to be so complicated?)
But we can agree that these efforts pay off in the long run.
BJJ is useful when defending yourself against a single, unarmed aggressor. It’s not surprising that its most known benefit is its self-defence capabilities. More than that, though, its benefits include physical, mental, and even emotional transformation.
Read on to find five understated benefits of BJJ that will change your life.
1 You become more confident
It’s important to feel self-assured and positive about who we are and what we can bring to the table. BJJ can help you change the way you see yourself. How you see yourself influences how you carry yourself in social situations. So if you have positive self-esteem, you influence others to see you in a positive light as well.
Statistically, short guys are more likely to have low self-esteem. While small people, in general, may be at a disadvantage in other martial arts, that doesn’t apply in BJJ. In fact, their size makes them perfect for it. Just take a look at Royce Gracie, 3-time UFC winner and Hall of Famer. You wouldn’t expect a skinny, sickly kid to grow up defeating opponents more than 50 lbs. heavier than himself.
2 You become level-headed
In a very stressful situation, you’d usually hear someone say, “Don’t panic.” It’s best to listen to them, and you know that at the back of your mind. Still, staying calm is not that easy when the temptation to panic is ten times greater.
Not many martial arts focus on keeping calm and improving your mental health. What’s great about BJJ is that less is more; to win a fight, you shouldn’t be aggressive. You need to rely less on physical force and more on your mental strength. As a result, you can submit your opponent with minimal force and avoid injury.
Training requires you to think two or three steps ahead when attempting a move. You analyze what your opponent’s next moves might be. At the same time, your body is engaged and actively struggling against your opponent.
It might sound like a lot of work for your brain, but it sure is worth it. The benefits of BJJ include helping you develop your ability to think critically under pressure.
3 Your functional fitness peaks
Of course, let’s not forget the benefits of BJJ training to your body and health.
At the gym, you can hit the treadmill to build endurance. You can pick up some weights to increase strength. You may also stay on the floor to do some stretches to improve flexibility.
Doing all that can take hours, though, most of us don’t have the luxury of time. BJJ doesn’t need a single piece of equipment or even an hour of your day. It jam-packs every physical activity you’ll need for better health and fitness.
Rolling can leave you sweating buckets within minutes. It gets your heart pumping, lowers your blood sugar, and builds your immune system. Carrying your opponent’s weight isn’t too different from lifting a barbell. And you’ll definitely stretch those hamstrings in the positions you’ll find yourself in.
Training BJJ improves your functional fitness, so you can do everything you need to with ease. Going up and down the stairs, hauling groceries, and walking the dog, for example. You’ll find yourself with fewer aches and pains in the long run.
4 You appreciate yourself more
And in a few weeks, you will start to notice something different about your appearance. You look in the mirror to check yourself out. (Don’t we all, though?) And you’ll find that you lost a bit of flab and gained some muscle here and there. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Before they stick with BJJ as a lifestyle, many people consider it a part of their weight loss journey. BJJ is both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise. That means you can reap all the physical benefits of BJJ and achieve a fit and toned physique, all in one activity.
Buckle up, because you’ll be using every muscle in your body on the mat. Not to be shallow and all. You should love yourself regardless of how you look. But you’ll never love yourself more than when you like how all those sore parts look amazing in the mirror.
5 You feel more secure
Finally, at some point, you might (but hopefully won’t) need BJJ off the mats.
Being able to defend yourself in a threatening situation is the ultimate ego boost. All the benefits of BJJ training that you gain can improve your self-esteem. But being able to bust some moves when you need to means you don’t have to recoil from the world and its dangers as much.
A simple faith that you have a belt and a band of defensive tactics stashed. It’s enough to get you walking alone at night without worrying about what may happen.
And there you have it: a starter pack for the ultimate glow-up, sponsored by BJJ. Still, keep in mind that what’s even more important than learning BJJ is committing to it. Nobody learns a skill overnight, let alone be an expert at it. All these benefits of BJJ we covered are useful in your day-to-day life, especially in improving your self-esteem. But more than mastery, your passion and consistent practice will enable you to build a new and better you.