Whether you’re trying to stay true to your New Year’s resolutions or you’re just trying to kick a bad habit, Jiu-Jitsu can put you on the right course. BJJ is even better than those Hollywood rehab centers, and it’s a fraction of the price! You just need to give it a shot.
Coming from someone who used to smoke, I can truthfully say you cannot mix that toxic habit with any form of exercise. Like water and oil, they will never mix. Even though I only smoked for a brief period in my teenage years, I found myself at a total loss of breath when I did any physical exercise. Walking up a flight of stairs became a chore. I wasn’t sure if it was the cigarettes or my bad diet that caused my face to turn red, and my skin to peel. But I decided smoking couldn’t be good for anything, and stopped immediately. I was addicted, but not to the point where I craving a smoke all the time. I was lucky to be able to kick my habit easier than most other addicts. Once you start to hit the mats and meet all your fellow new partners, you’ll realize that the “S” word is banned. If you’re a regular smoker you’ll sense a sort of exclusion in your group, because even your two-stripe white belt peer will be seriously committed to staying in prima condition. Staying in condition is a good thing and could be the perfect motivational push for you to quit whatever bad habit you’ve developed. And you will likely be surrounded by a team players who are ready to help you. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not critiquing smokers, just offering a bit of advice.
“If anger helps you feel in control, no wonder you can’t control your anger!” says Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. If you joined Jiu-Jitsu because you think you’re going to channel all your anger out on your partner like a punching bag, I would think again and maybe consider another sport, like boxing. One of the most incredible benefits of Jiu-Jitsu in my opinion, is the ability to be physically, and mentally fit. BJJ will allow you to let go of that raging ego overtaking your conscience. If you practice regularly, it will constantly push you to prove yourself, and help you to form a healthy, calm state of mind that is hungry for knowledge. BJJ also sets a level of equality amongst individuals, where the phrase “Who do you think you are you talking to?” has no place. You come to learn that respect is not something earned by instigating fear in others, but rather demonstrated by quality of character.
Happy Hour or Mat Hour?
The answer to that question is pretty clear, in my opinion… That tipsy rush you feel while you’re at the club enjoying the pounding music run through your veins, can be the exact same feeling you get on the mats. You might think I’m crazy, but when I got into BJJ, and started rolling with my partner speaking in Portuguese, I felt this unbelievable overwhelming, electric shock of happiness just bolt through my body. I remember wondering if someone had put something in my water, or if I was just experiencing such a profound “life high”. There’s nothing to worry about if you’re a mild drinker. However, you won’t be able to train if you’re struggling with a severe alcohol addiction. Give yourself a chance to try BJJ and allow yourself to experience the same “life high” I did, while sober. Trust me, it’ll make you look at the world a whole lot differently.
More than any other sport, BJJ allows you to get into shape and boost your self confidence in a major way. It gives you the chance to push yourself to limits that were once unimaginable! The more you practice those daunting techniques, the more you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Not to state the obvious, but because it’s a martial art, it will give you the upper hand in self defence. I couldn’t believe the endless variety of wind and blood chokes that you could perform on someone attacking you. Some were so simple, but so effective, that I was in awe. My favorite is the “Guillotine” — named for the instrument that beheaded Louis XVI during the French Revolution. In JJ technique, “the Guillotine” is practised when you use your forearm to apply pressure over your partner’s trachea, which cuts off blood flow and could make the person unconscious.
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