Training Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an entertaining and enjoyable activity you can do, and it has many benefits for you and your body. However, most of the time, it can be pretty costly and make you leave some other activities you enjoy, such as lifting weights at the gym or CrossFit. In this situation, the question arises: what is more important, jiu-jitsu or gym memberships?
Jocko Willink, one of the most popular podcasters in the world and a former Navy SEAL, has his take on this, and he believes that jiu-jitsu should be your priority. Here is what he says:
“Jiu-jitsu is kind of a priority. I’ll tell you why: It’s learning! If you take me and you, and we go through this situation, and you decide to do jiu-jitsu, and I decide to weightlift, in ten years, who is happy and who is sad? The answer is clear!”
Jocko means here that someone who trains BJJ for ten years will probably become a black belt and change his life for the better. On the other hand, the person that decides to lift weights will improve a lot in the strength aspect, but he will also have to go through the learning period once he starts training BJJ, and the learning phase will always be challenging.
Nevertheless, training jiu-jitsu does not exclude strength training or calisthenics. For example, sprints, pull-ups, dips, gymnastic ring exercises, and more are cheap but can increase your strength tremendously. Here is Jocko’s take on this.
“While you were training, guess what else you were doing. You were doing calisthenics; you were sprinting; you were lifting rocks; you were doing cheap stuff for free and still getting massive benefits. For me, my priority is going to jiu-jitsu. Because you can spend 40$ on a set of rings for your garage, and the next thing you know, you can do pull-ups, dips, and muscle-ups, so you can get massive benefits with a set of rings or a pull-up bar. You can become a beast with those exercises.”
To summarize, it is best to train jiu-jitsu and go to the gym, but if you lack money for both, your priority should be jiu-jitsu. However, this does not mean that you should exclude strength training. Invest in a pull-up bar or a set of rings, and you are good to go!