Jocko Willink is a navy seal and a bjj black belt under Dean Lister. He’s also one of the most outspoken advocates of the sport.
When asked just why jiu jitsu is so important to him Willink responded:
Jiu Jitsu is a great workout both mentally and physically. You want to be strong for it and flexible for it. You want to have explosive energy and you want to have endurance. So it’s a very good all-around physical conditioning tool. Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.
Further it influenced the way he handled his men in the military:
I loved teaching the guys as much as I could, and as much as they wanted. The thing about Jiu Jitsu is it is also not for everybody. It can be very humiliating and humbling. If you have a hard time dealing with the fact that someone smaller than you may be able to tap you out, it is going to be difficult. There are two reactions you can have to that reality. Some people take it as a reason to learn more so that it doesn’t happen again, and some people decide to do that by never stepping into a gym again. You really never know who will make what decision. For me, I knew I wanted to be able to make sure that it wouldn’t be done to me, and I would be able to do it to other people.
You can read the entire interview here.
Prior to that Willink has been quoted saying belts don’t matter:
At some point jiu-jitsu become a lot more than just belts. Eventually the Jiu-jitsu itself completely bypasses what the belts are and what the belts mean. Now, you say to me well that’s because you’re a black belt. Of course they don’t matter to you, you’re already a black belt… The fact is that didn’t happen to me at black belt, that happened to me at like purple belt. I think about mid way of my purple belt time I had no care whatsoever of what belt color I was. Literally zero. And I just wanted to get better, I just wanted to know more, to keep training and I never even thought about it after that. “