Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not just a sport, it is a way of life, a lifestyle. Once you have experienced one or two classes, I guarantee you will be hooked. Have you ever wanted to start a martial art but are worried about getting hit in the face? Well this is the perfect opportunity. It is a very effective way of defending yourself but can be brutal too. This sport focuses on dismantling your opponent by using momentum and leverage.
The aim of the game is to submit your opponent, by making them “Tap”. By tapping the opponent is effectively admitting death defeat, but enables them to avoid injury at the same time. It is a fantastic way to lose weight, whilst gaining lean muscle and strength. Rolling really wears on your cardiovascular system and in time, you will find it easier to go longer rounds. It’s not just the physical aspect there is also mental and social benefits.
Many individuals have stated BJJ has helped them to feel more relaxed in stressful situations, as well as boosting confidence, and increasing self-esteem. Not to mention the fact that you get to have a second family! The people you meet on the mats become more than just friends. You share all sorts of memories and journeys together. I forgot to mention, you WILL share blood, sweat, tears and the odd hair in the mouth…literally. There will always be people you can turn to for advice or even to lend an ear. It will be your new safe haven!
Mentally the sport works wonders.
You will be made to use your brain just as much as your physical body. The sport is very much like a game of chess and relies on your next move. Most who practice the sport work a full-time job and bills to pay, which can build up endless amounts of stress. The mats are a place where you can forget all of that and just be yourself. It doesn’t matter what your background is, the colour of your skin or your religion, none of it matters. Everyone is treated the same. Reducing stress levels benefits your health in many ways, one it can lower blood pressure, which protects the heart from potential diseases. BJJ puts the positivity back into your mind. When positive thoughts run through your mind, the happier you will become.
Physically over time you will see many changes.
Before I started BJJ my flexibility was poor, I hardly stretched before or after exercising. My muscles tightened and it restricted everyday movements, also increasing the risk to injuries. Now I can touch my toes, without any strains or pains. This makes life so much easier, loosening muscles helps to improve posture and reduce the risk of injuries. Tying up your shoe lace will no longer be a pain in the backside! Stretching is highly encouraged in the sport, as it can display an effective style of BJJ. Sticking to a healthy diet outside of the gym is key, as this helps with muscle recovery and weight control. Training hard and then eating fatty foods isn’t going to speed up the process of losing weight. There is a simple rule to losing weight, your energy expenditure needs to be higher than your calorie intake. Training frequently will reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. Although BJJ mainly focuses on technique via momentum and leverage, there is a physical aspect to the sport, leading to an increasing strength. Balance is another huge factor. Can you stand on one foot for 30 seconds without holding on to anything? Don’t worry if you can’t, as BJJ will help you to change that. It increases core stability and balance, meaning you will be able to move more freely in a controlled manor.
Many will disagree, but I believe the social factor of BJJ is the most important. It teaches you so many things. One to be true to yourself. Only you can push yourself to the fullest and be the best you. You learn to respect all and appreciate diverse backgrounds and cultures. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got a penny in your pocket or whether your wallet is full to the brim. You are the same as the person standing next to you. Loyalty is another, you will end up spending a lot of time with other members and will expend your last breath rolling with them. You will expose all vulnerabilities and they will embrace it. This builds strong relationships and in time those individuals will be there to support you in a heartbeat. You appreciate the coaches who have given everything to the sport, which is also really inspiring. Using this inspiration can motivate you to pursue your own dreams and goals.
Don’t be nervous about signing up to your first class. Everyone has once been in your position and will support you the minute you walk through the door. There are no egos in BJJ, there is only respect and loyalty. Remember, everyone started off as a white belt. Without new members, the sport will never grow. The saying goes “A black belt is a white belt that never quit!”. If this has inspired you to give it a go, please come back and leave a comment to how it went.