Mental Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The mental peace that comes from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be just as beneficial as the physical benefits an individual gains. This form of martial arts requires discipline, focus and patience. As people try and fail at BJJ they may become frustrated, but BJJ teaches students to get back up and try again. This is a simple tactic that can truly change how a person feels about themselves. When someone lacks confidence, they may say they will never be able to accomplish something, BJJ shows that you can accomplish your goal if you focus. The feeling of joy after failing multiple times and finally reaching success is irreplaceable. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can make someone feel more confident in their abilities, and this confidence can be seen in other aspects of life as well. The mental benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be just as important as the physical benefits.
American Military Soldiers and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
American soldiers who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are beginning to join BJJ classes to help cope with their PTSD. In an article from VICE, Chad Robichaux, the founder of Fight Club explained the problem. He said that there was a 90 percent divorce rate among military veterans, and 22 veterans committed suicide a day. Chad started Fight Club to give military veterans with PTSD an outlet to deal with their stresses and anxieties. Chad says the programs have been a success, with over 1,500 veterans joining and not one report of divorce or suicide from his clients.
PTSD can change a person, and affect everyday thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The rates of PTSD and addiction for military veterans in America are high, and growing. BJJ gives military veterans a place to do something positive: ultimately, a venue where they can exercise and deal with stress in a healthy manner. BJJ classes offer a place where military vets can go and feel like they belong. It seems BJJ could be one of the non 12 step recovery programs that can actually help people remain sober.
Brotherhood is a big concept in the military, and returning to normal life and losing those strong relationships created in the military can truly effect some veterans. When vets join a BJJ class, they are being introduced into another brotherhood. This sense of belonging can go a long way for the mental well being of a military veteran. BJJ classes can be compared to non 12 step recovery programs in the sense that they show addicts a new way to live and can make them feel they are a part of a group. Most non 12 step recovery programs are focused on discussing sobriety with a group of addicts. There are even BJJ exercises that people can do on their own so that they do not have to go to a class to practice. Instead of picking up the bottle or a drug, they can practice, exercise, feel good about themselves and the urge to use or be bored can vanish. BJJ shows people that you can find peace and happiness through exercise and mental discipline. BJJ can be used as an important component of non 12 step recovery programs, as it teaches patience, discipline, and cultivates both physical and mental strength.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Virtues
Some personal virtues that BJJ teaches are discipline, respect, and mindfulness. When you are failing in your classes and you continue to try even though you do not want to, this is discipline. Once you learn discipline, you can apply it to other areas of your life. As military veterans come home and struggle with PTSD, addiction or any other problem, getting back in touch with discipline can go a long way in recovery. Respect and mindfulness are also great benefits of BJJ. Learning to respect your opponent and always prepare to fight someone bigger than you can prepare you mentally for other obstacles in life. Outside of combat and practice, BJJ students are also taught how to mediate and eat a healthy, balanced diet, which can also help with mental disorders like PTSD and addiction. All signs point to BJJ continuing to grow in America, whether for recreational benefits or for mental healing. When you go into something knowing you are at a disadvantage, you will be more mentally prepared in order to achieve your goal. BJJ teaches that no matter your size, there is always someone bigger and stronger than you, so BJJ can prepare you for all of life’s challenges that life ahead.