Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the top rated BJJ gym in Singapore.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is known for the many positive benefits its practitioners reap. The most common is that practitioners learn about self-defense and thus develop a strong body, experience weight loss, and boost self-confidence. While most improvements are seen in a practitioner’s body, BJJ also enhances one’s mentality. This article will talk about how BJJ makes you a smarter person.
Training BJJ forces you to solve and overcome the problem at hand. Live grappling against someone is like solving a puzzle using your body, but the puzzle constantly changes. As BJJ icon John Danaher said, problems in BJJ are dynamic. Once you think you may have answered the problem, the opponent then proposes another problem.
On top of that, BJJ requires you to solve dynamic problems under pressure. As we live in a stressful world where problems are sometimes compounded, seemingly simple things can be difficult for most people. BJJ gives you the ability to stay calm even when problems are thrown your way. This is an essential ability for an individual to have in any field. Being calm helps you make better decisions and make fewer mistakes.
2) Helps You Think Logically
Logical thinking means you analyze the situation, reaction, and feedback to make conclusions based on the input and develop a strategy and sensible solution. In BJJ, you will learn to think logically and manage your emotions rather than acting on them with little thought. Relying on your emotions can be dangerous because you act based on how you feel instead of what needs to be done. A calm individual makes better decisions and is less likely to snap.
Through experience, you will become better at analyzing situations and, in the process, make you a stronger decision-maker. Get feedback from your coach and training partners so you can work on your weaknesses. Rather than going a hundred percent and blasting out all the time, incorporate positional sparring, flow rolls, and drills in your training to work on your technique and strategic thinking. Apply it in situations or positions that you normally find a hard time with to improve your defensive game.
3) Technique Over Brute Strength
BJJ favors the use of technique over brute strength. While strength is always beneficial in all types of grappling, a BJJ blue belt, for example, is defined as a person with a solid grappling foundation that can beat bigger and sometimes stronger, untrained opponents. Likewise, training BJJ requires you to use techniques in a controlled and safe manner. While it is cool to win using brute force, winning with technique is always the better option.
BJJ is an excellent sport because it lets people of all backgrounds train together on the mat. According to Danaher, genetics play less of an important role in a sport involving more skills and tactics. Grappling, especially BJJ, is a premier example of this. In training and competition, you can find practitioners of all body types go head to head against each other.
4) Makes You Think Steps Ahead
As you get deeper into BJJ, you start to chain your techniques more efficiently. It allows you to think ahead and make the necessary counterattacks as you predict the possible reactions of your opponent. Typically, beginners make one move at a time. As you get to the purple belt, you learn to set up traps and chain your movements.
According to Jocko Willink, a former U.S Navy SEAL, famous BJJ black belt personality, leadership instructor, and strategic advisor, Jiu-Jitsu is a mental game that leverages surprise moves. It is the key to overpowering an opponent, regardless of their size and strength. The same can be applied to the battlefield, problems, business, and life. The direct head-on approach doesn’t always produce the best results.
“You don’t tell the opponents exactly what you’re going to do. Rather, you set up things in a way that your competitor doesn’t expect you to come at them from a different angle.” The same approach can also be applied when dealing with difficult people. BJJ is not just a form of self-defense, but a mental competition where the lessons you learn on the mats can also be applied in life.
5) You Begin To Ask More Questions
“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute; the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
As the quote from Confucius suggests, asking questions is curiosity, and it will lead to knowledge. Being curious is a sign that you are eager to learn. In BJJ, you will learn to put your ego aside and understand that you don’t and will not know everything, making you wise by asking more questions.
Make a habit of asking your coach or higher belts questions when you need help understanding the mechanics or how to perform a technique properly. It is easier to correct a bad habit in BJJ while you’re still practically new than when you’re already advanced in your journey.
6) Helps You Grasp New Concepts Faster
BJJ enhances your ability to understand concepts, like when learning the mechanics and purpose of a technique. While there are different learning styles, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic styles are primarily used in BJJ. In relation to what we said previously, by asking questions and getting the right answers, you will learn to grasp the concepts of techniques faster.
Some students learn better by drilling techniques, others by watching techniques shown by their coach, and some by hearing instructions. BJJ helps you discover what learning style suits you best. As the saying goes, imagination is better than knowledge. Visualization is just as important in BJJ, especially in establishing the building blocks of a complete game.
Try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an activity that will improve your life in a holistic sense. In the eyes of the untrained, BJJ is mainly a physical game, but it’s evident that it’s much more than that. Its physical benefits don’t overshadow its mental benefits; it offers mental benefits in spades just as well.