The Three Benefits of Training Jiu-Jitsu
I answer calls, messages and emails everyday from people who are at the consideration phase of their jiu-jitsu journey, and most of these folks have doubts. Many have never tried a martial art before and are a bit wary of what they are getting into. Almost all of them are curious as to what they can expect.
As a jiu-jitsu practitioner and instructor, there are three ways I see jiu-jitsu benefitting everyone who starts and sticks with it.
Although jiu-jitsu is clearly a physical undertaking, it is also a thinking man’s game. Strategy, counters, gambits and tactics are all as much a part of the gentle art as they are a part of chess. The biggest, fastest, most athletic warrior often isn’t the best. You’re going to have to use your brain if you want to tap people.
In addition, the library of jiu-jitsu techniques is vast and growing at a blistering pace. New techniques and variations surface EVERYDAY. Jiu-jitsu will tax your memory and eventually require you to use creativity to develop your own techniques.
There is no workout like rolling. It’s a non-stop full body workout that tests and builds your core, flexibility, balance and cardio. I have seen top athletic specimens lay down and quit after their first roll with a white belt. I have witnessed physically-fit members of military and law enforcement tap out to basic positions because they couldn’t breathe and were afraid they were going to pass out. Nothing will take you to your physical edge quite like jiujitsu will.
Jiu-jitsu has a way of transforming people on what most would consider to be a spiritual level. That’s because jiu-jitsu teaches people about humility, patience and honesty.
To train jiu-jitsu is to be humbled. Especially at the beginning. When you are a white belt, you learn quickly that jiu-jitsu is not for the prideful. You have to check your ego at the door or you’re not going to last long. And if you’re doing jiu-jitsu for the belts, I have some bad news for you. Most of the people that walk through the door will never get a purple belt. Those that do stick with it will typically wait ten years or more for the coveted black belt — only to realize their jiu-jitsu journey has just begun.
Jiu-jitsu will expose who you really are. If you’re a bully, it’s going to come out on the mat (and there is a price to pay for being a bully). A quitter, you will quit. But if a person is helpful and caring, you will also see those qualities. Saulo said, “Jiu Jitsu, at the end of the day, is the art of expressing yourself honestly. Every time you put on a gi, you can’t lie.”