Although training in any style of Martial Arts may be beneficial Jiu-Jitsu is by far the best. This advice is of course coming from a lifelong Martial Artist that has experienced multiple types of training throughout the years. So what led to this ultimate declaration and why does it matter? Finding Truth in any facet of life is emancipating and transformative and something to gift back so that hopefully someone else will get to gain from the many lessons it took to receive this knowledge.
1.) Self Defense . . . without having to punch or kick
It’s not that Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t incorporate and utilize striking, it just does it in the most efficient, logical way possible. By using open palm strikes we greatly minimize the risk of damage to our fragile hand bones. And more importantly Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t rely on strikes alone. They are in addition to, used sparingly and to get to an end point – the submission via a joint lock or choke. There are varying degrees to which you can choose to defend yourself. Unlike a punch or kick that must be administered at full force to possibly be effective, using Jiu-Jitsu you are able to control your level of force. It is much more humane to have someone pass out for 10 seconds from a choke than to have beaten someones’ face in. Jiu-Jitsu is not life threatening like resorting to shooting someone and then having to try to emotionally deal with that for the rest of your life. Jiu-Jitsu translates to ‘The Gentle Art’ meaning it’s not based on power and strength. Rather, timing, leverage and technique which means that it is truly designed for a smaller, weaker individual who is being attacked. It also addresses how to handle a situation from yes standing, but also on the ground!
2.) The BJJ ranking system
Jiu-Jitsu has a unique, logical ranking system compared to some styles of Martial Arts. All youth 16 years and below are kept in Children’s belts. This matters since we’re dealing with joint locks and chokes that require emotionally maturity. There is something to be said about not receiving instant gratification by paying off a business to become a 10 year old black belt. We’re teaching our kids and ourselves that hard work is okay and ultimately that we’re worth all the time and energy we put into this. Each belt has four stripes before the next rank is given. There is no such thing as attitude or attendance stickers on belts for kids unless constructed by a certain franchise but not recognized by the IBJJF (International Brazilian jiu-jitsu Federation) or around the world by other academies. Comparing an eight year old black black belt or 12 year old second degree ‘Master’ to an adult Jiu-Jitsu black belt is really no comparison at all. There is no rank for No Gi (training without the uniform). There is no ranking system for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Notice how there are only four main belts in the Adult ranks. If you are training at a school that gives out other adult colored belts, belts with stripes down the middle, or anything else it is completely made up. There is no such thing as a pink belt, it is a marketing scheme. Any female is just as capable of receiving real, true rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. An adult yellow belt instead of one stripe on your white belt (orange belt instead of 2 stripes, etc.) is based solely on attendance, often not authentic progression and for monetary and retention purposes.
3.) The Jiu-Jitsu workout
There is nothing that compares to the exercise you receive grappling in Jiu-Jitsu. It is cardio and strength training while under intense pressure. With over 1,000 calories burnt each class it definitely beats the gym or other workouts. It’s unique since it works all areas of the body, it’s not isolated to toning one part of the body. Your goal is not to be the best at exercising. It goes soo much deeper than squats and dead lifts. You get a flexible spine and a crazy strong core. You could be a star student or the CEO getting millions of dollars and none of that will matter if your life is cut short or filled with obesity and health problems due to inactivity. Working the mind means engaging the body and Jiu-Jitsu combines the two flawlessly.
4.) Living the Lifestyle
One of the best benefits of training is taking it off the mats. The real reason for the couple of hours a week of work in the school is to enhance your daily life. Waking up to meditation, gratitude and a healthy mindset propels you into a guaranteed good day, no matter what comes along. Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to incorporate what you learn during class to the lessons we face everyday. You gain confidence, calmness and clarity that serves you in all areas of life.
6.) The Mental Benefits (especially for ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s)
Exercise is vital at every age. It’s something that is imperative to have throughout life and not be sporadic, stopped over and over and started again and again. When you workout your body you’re simultaneously building up brain power. You become sharper and smarter while maintaining a positive outlook. It allows you to go deepen than physical gains and a built body with purposeless muscle.
5.) Limitless creativity
Not like other ‘dead’ Martial Arts Jiu-Jitsu is evergreen, always growing. Your black belt is truly only the beginning as you continually explore, evolve, and experiment your style. There is nothing holding you back, confining your personality, forcing rigid movements that must be mimicked verbatim. You’ll never be bored by robotic, mundane forms where the only real excitement is in how loud you can yell or grunt during each move. Each roll is different, every time with everyone. How fun is that?!
7.) The Emotional Benefits
It’s empowering to know that you’re a master problem solver. Jiu-Jitsu gifts you with a special kind of resilience. With every grappling match you start to understand and overcome any inner voice that may have stopped you before. Everyone has challenges in life that can cause major anxiety and pent up energy if we don’t have a healthy outlet to release it. Stress perceived as life threatening is just that, lethal! Feel depressed? Instead of taking pills you can take a Jiu-Jitsu class which is a magic cure all in and of itself! Having trouble sleeping at night? Not with BJJ! It’s an amazing way to unwind and leave the rest of the world behind putting your body in a ‘rest and digest’ mode.
8.) The Relationships….especially the one with yourself
As great as it can be to have lots of cool people to hang out with there is nothing like being your own best friend. Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to take good care of yourself on all levels. Finding true happiness and inner peace is priceless. You can fill your life with busy and never get to the root of what drives you. BJJ brings out that passion to create whole health wealth.