Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not only a sport, a martial art, but it is also a lifestyle with the ability to transform the mind and body. If you were to walk into a BJJ academy or TBC (😏), you would definitely find people that would say BJJ has transformed their life by getting them into the shape they never thought was possible. Many students would include tidbits about strength gain, while others would focus on weight loss. Some will even throw in posture and confidence.
One of the trickiest parts about health is that people can quickly judge it based on appearance. Health improvements sponsored by BJJ often challenges the eye because many of the advancements people make in BJJ are not seen in plain view. BJJ is all about mobility, strength, and learning how to use your body as one unit.
Rising Popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Claim what you think about the UFC, but with the rise of MMA, there is no surprise that BJJ has been rapidly growing alongside it. BJJ is gaining quite the international reputation with its roots in MMA and BJJ academies/gyms popping up.
BJJ culture is known for being more relaxed and modern compared to traditional martial arts. BJJ’s rap sheet includes being organized, offers versatility, and a type of discipline that is difficult to match.
Health Benefits of Doing BJJ
BJJ sparring rounds are typically around 5 minutes and include very little time for rest. It is a full-body exercise that will have you drenched within those five minutes. With the fluctuation of high and low intensity along with minimal rest, you can potentially  burn over 500 calories during 30 minutes of hard rolling. The physical benefits of BJJ are heavily related to increased mobility, strength, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and strength. You’ll be sure to use every muscle group in the body that will take almost an immediate effect. It is not uncommon to find athletes who come for the exercise and weight-loss journey but stick with BJJ as a lifestyle. BJJ is sometimes described as yoga, cardio, and weight-lifting in one.
You may be surprised by how little the average person knows about self-defence and the potential ineffectiveness of basic instincts. Even police officers are sometimes required to take basic BJJ classes to gain knowledge of the safest way to diffuse a situation. Through confidence, knowledge, and practice, BJJ helps build a strong self-defence toolkit that can be used off the mat if needed. There is a misconception that the sole purpose of BJJ is to be violent and grimy when, in reality, it is about mental fitness and controlling one’s opponent.
Let’s be honest - we’re all trying to find different ways to blow off steam that works for us individually. The aggressive nature of BJJ allows you to let off steam within a controlled environment. The only thing that matters on the mats is learning that new technique and applying it. When you’re in some sort of hold, some of the problems of our world seem to not to matter as much. If you’re needing to let some things go and alleviate from the stressors of life, hitting the mats is probably a good use of time. Plus, BJJ is a fantastic way to build a strong group of friends and community. There’s something about rolling together and finding ways to attack that simply just brings people together in a unique way. You spend years learning and growing with teammates. There is no “Jiu-Jitsu” type - you’re going to come across all kinds of people to become friends with.
There are many ways to recharge, and BJJ may just be the right one for you. Scrolling through social media or laying down may be doing the complete opposite for your energy levels. Many BJJ academies (including The Boxing Club), offer early BJJ classes because many students find that they are better prepared for the day after an early class. The combination of the physical and mental requirement to fully participate in a BJJ class awakens the nervous system! Don’t slack on your sleep, though, for a full recovery! One of the largest lessons that many beginners in BJJ learn is to conserve energy and simply relax. BJJ will help sort through the energy you receive from class and help you utilize that energy properly.
In BJJ, the mental strength becomes just as strong, if not stronger, than the physical. Jiu-Jitsu is extremely calculated, often referred to as the human game of chess. Those who practice BJJ have to think several steps ahead and require a certain development of thinking. This is where acknowledging BJJ as a journey that is physical, mental, and emotional is crucial. Sometimes skills and technique are simply not enough. The ability to persevere through a submission and escape cannot be done without mental strength - think about it.
BJJ is fantastic for keeping an eye on your progress, improvements, strengths, weaknesses, and everything else in between. Oh, and don’t forget about mastery! With the belt and stripe system in BJJ, there’s a way to physically and mentally track progress through various grading systems and opportunities. A white belt will see themselves very differently once they are a purple belt. With the deceiving amount to learn about BJJ and life, you will always be challenged, and it is very unlikely that you will ever run out of things to learn.
The commitment to BJJ is a priority and a lifestyle. The dedication to train through day-to-day life, hardships, losses on and off the mats, etc., as well as the journey towards progression, makes discipline at the forefront of the BJJ lifestyle. It is an intense need to follow the philosophy of BJJ and how to act respectfully in a controlled environment - it’s bigger than anyone who practices BJJ. From the first activity, you do upon waking up in the morning, to the amount and moderation of what you eat, through your nightly routine, the philosophy of BJJ will be sewn into your wellbeing. There will be a clear distinction between motivation and discipline that will not be able to be silenced. Just remember that motivation exists as a noun, while discipline is a verb. Let that simmer for a little bit.
Not a whole lot else to it - BJJ is fun. There is a community in and out of your local gym or academy. It’s a unique fun that not everyone gets to experience. The mats are a place where you can go 100% with a healthy amount of competition and solving puzzles. There’s something about BJJ that keeps people continually coming back. No one is ever quite done, and neither is the happiness BJJ brings. The magical mixture of martial arts with culture that creates the perfect atmosphere to learn and improve yourself.
BJJ always keeps those who practice coming back for more. Whether it is to master a new technique, learning basic BJJ tips for beginners, roll with someone who makes it challenging, or learning more about the lasting impression the ‘gentle art’ can leave on us, BJJ is continuously levelling up and versatile. BJJ creates elements of motivation, discipline, humility and patience. While BJJ provides the opportunity for smaller opponents to win against those that are larger, there will be moments of self-doubt, frustration, as well as physical and mental pain. Through this, those who practice BJJ walk through life with a different type of understanding of how life works.
About The Author
The BXNG Club is more than just boxing. TBC is a leader within the combat arts and fitness world. We have immense pride in having the best fighters and coaches in the industry - from Boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, MMA, HIIT, Strength Training, Spin, Pilates, Yoga and more.
- Marc (BJJ Success). (2020, February 3). How Many Calories Are Burned in BJJ? A Look at the Data. BJJ Success. Retrieved November 11, 2020
- Sather, K. (2018, September 12). Athletic Performance & Macros. These Words Like Rocks. Retrieved November 11, 2020
- The Boxing Club. (2020, July 20). Tips for BJJ Beginners. The Boxing Club (TBC). Retrieved November 11, 2020