Guest post by Evolve Vacation. The Evolve Vacation Program offers travelers the rare opportunity of a lifetime to combine a tropical vacation under the sun with authentic training under World Champions. You can train at one of the world’s most famous mixed martial arts academies, Evolve MMA, and also enjoy the exotic hidden treasures of the beautiful tropical island of Singapore.
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Have you ever wondered why so many people get hooked on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
There are plenty of reasons why people who train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu keep coming back. The traditional martial art continues to evolve and is capable of chemically stimulating our brains.
While the positive effects of oxytocin, beta-endorphin, and noradrenaline are some of the resulting impacts of participating in BJJ, we’ll instead look at the reasons why we generate and experience these bursts of hormones.
We will also look at the history of the sport and understand why people enjoy BJJ and the benefits of partaking in it.
BJJ is a fascinating martial art
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most fascinating martial arts.
While it is not the most extravagant, intense, or bizarre martial art, it is remarkably intriguing because of the way it can allow a smaller person to overcome a bigger and stronger opponent.
Not many other martial arts can actually make this claim. While smaller opponents in other martial arts might carry a speed advantage with them over a larger opponent, it can be difficult to overcome the sheer power of someone else. But BJJ allows a competitor with correct technique to realistically challenge any opponent.
In a way, it is this reason why BJJ is so addicting to a whole range of different people. In particular, BJJ branches out to women and children.
BJJ is chemically stimulating
Your body releases endorphins through most forms of exercise. It’s why you might feel intense happiness or excitement following a run or other activity.
However, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu releases all of these endorphins and more.
Most significantly, BJJ can tap into noradrenaline, which is a specific chemical from your body that is otherwise referred to as a “fight-or-flight” neurotransmitter. All of this ‘chemical’ talk might sound intimidating, but it is overwhelmingly positive.
In fact, a study showed that “NE plays a determinant role in executive functioning regulating cognition, motivation, and intellect, which are fundamental in social relationships.”
Have you ever stopped to wonder why you continue to roll longer than the 30 minutes than you had originally planned for? It’s literally because of these chemical reactions.
The community or ‘tribe’ feeling
For some people, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about the community.
In a time when many people are not involved in communities, BJJ allows you to instantly slot into a friendship and networking group that provides continuous value to your life.
The need to be involved in small communities is built-in to human nature. A book by Sebastian Junger titled “Tribe” looks at the human instinct ‘to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding.’ He also details that “This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.”
Furthermore, WebMD explains:
“Because strong social support is important for those with depression, joining a group exercise class may be beneficial. Or you can exercise with a close friend or your partner. In doing so, you will benefit from the physical activity and emotional comfort, knowing that others are supportive of you.”
This positive reaction to being involved in a community with purpose is one of the main reasons why we find Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu addictive.
Learn and improve
Possibly the greatest reason why people find themselves continually coming back to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is that you can simultaneously learn a brilliant martial art while also improving your body and mind.
Unlike going to the gym or attending a CrossFit class (for example), you are learning a useful skill while you train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Of course, other methods of working out contain some skill and knowledge, as well, but the understanding of how to properly defend yourself is an important skill to have.
The strategic aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is extremely addictive.
No two rolls are the same. More often than not, you will be presented with a new position to work from against a different opponent.
Depending on your mentality, you can focus on attacking or defending. You might repeatedly use high-risk transitions and techniques to advance your position or attempt submissions. Alternatively, you might challenge yourself by not allowing your opponent to pass your guard.
And when you successfully implement your techniques, your opponent will read and react to the situation and present you with an entirely new situation. Your experiences will continually adapt, and you will improve dramatically as a result.
These consistent changes make sure that training never becomes ‘stale’.
Develop your own style
One of the best parts about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that you can really develop your own style.
If you enjoy smashing through your opponent’s guard with pressure passes, you can focus entirely on that. Alternatively, if you want to attack from your back or go after leg locks, you can do that as well.
Depending on your body, you can discover and develop the style that is most effective (and enjoyable) for you.
Belt system and achievement
It’s impossible to discuss the addictive nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu without mentioning the belt system.
We all start with a white belt and continually work our way up the tiered system which measures our sense of development and improvement.
The sense of joy and achievement from being promoted is unparalleled because it simply measures all of your hard work and dedication with a tangible reward.
There is no finish line
One of the most addictive aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that you can always come back and learn more.
Achieving your black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t the end. In fact, many believe that it is actually the beginning of even deeper learning.
If you’ve been looking for a healthy hobby to pick up and really get invested in, BJJ may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Start your BJJ journey by booking a complimentary trial class today!