When I think of martial arts, the first thing that comes to mind is the movie Karate Kid. “Wax on, wax off,” as well as “Daniel-san,” all take me back to my childhood. The different techniques and use of symbolism make for a great movie. Did you know that some of the techniques used in the movie are real forms of martial arts?
For those who are unfamiliar with the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, don’t panic. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a form of martial arts, where the main focus is ground fighting and grappling. The goal is to force the opponent to submit.
This form of martial arts is not only a combative sports system, but in paracting this, it also brings about great health benefits. We’re going to take a look at some ways Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be very beneficial to your overall health.
Flexibility and Mobility
The grappling performed in jiu-jitsu require tons of flexibility and mobility, so stretching before and after is a very important part of this art. Flexibility and mobility really go hand in hand.
Flexibility is being able to stretch a particular muscle or muscle group in a certain direction through range of motion. Something as simple as standing straight and bending over touching your toes, while keeping your legs straight is a great way to increase your flexibility with jiu-jitsu
Mobility has more to do with the movement of your body. Your body being able to use a full range of motion through different joints and muscle groups is what mobility is all about. An exercise good for testing your mobility would be be squats.
Some people like to do squats with their hands over their heads, whereas other people like to do squats with their hands in front of them…either one is great for mobility. Doing these types of squats requires your body to use different joints and muscle groups to be able to complete the movement in general.
Increasing your flexibility definitely helps with your mobility, which is why I say it goes hand in hand. When practicing the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you will definitely be squatting in your matches, but being able to withstand it all comes from increasing your flexibility through stretching. This in turn improves your mobility.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu will increase your strength by default. You’re using all parts of your body, so you’re bound to build muscle and increase your strength somewhere in there.
The workouts that come with the practice of this art are pretty intense too, so when you do them you have to put your all into it. They allow you to not only build strength, but will also tone you up. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a great overall body workout.
These workouts tend to be done in one minute increments. They are basic types of exercises, but the kicker is to see how many repetitions you can get done within a minute. Once you’ve completed one exercise within the minute, you’ll move on to the next exercise and complete that in a minute. Some of these exercises include jumping rope, squat-jumps, and burpees, just to name a few.
If you’re pretty familiar with the art and the workouts associated with the art, you could actually help future Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. One way to help them is to create your own blog about it.
Some people look at martial arts in general as a cool “thing” to try out as a different form of fitness or sport, without knowing all that comes with it.
This art form is a great stress reducer. We all have our own ways of dealing with stress. Stress can come from work or your personal life…how we deal with our stress is what’s key. Some people eat their stress away, while some take their frustrations out on a punching bag…the punching bag is the healthier way, by far.
With Brazilian jiu-jitsu being your form of exercise, it will keep your stress levels down because it allows you to control your thoughts and impulses. In practicing this art form, you will also adopt the practice of meditation.
The practice of meditation will allow you to find inner peace. You want to close your eyes and focus your mind on one thing. That one thing can be a beach, a mountain, or small stream of water…it can be whatever you want it to be.
It also can be helpful during your meditation to have music playing that compliments what your focusing on. If you’re eyes are closed and you’re focusing on the ocean, it could be helpful to have the sounds of waves crashing playing in the background.
We mentioned earlier the workouts associated with Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Those workouts are also a stress reliever, along with the actual art. You can grapple your opponent, forcing him to submit, or do one minute interval training…whichever method you choose, it will still relieve your stress.
The relieving of stress through the art and workouts will also leave you feeling happier. The physical strain of the workouts and grappling allows your body to release oxytocin. This is the happy hormone, some say.
Practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu can lead to regular feelings of accomplishment and affirmation. It can make you feel happy and satisfied regularly, which will make you feel good everyday and ultimately reduce your stress.