Have you been following MMA and find Jiu Jitsu intriguing?
Maybe you’re curious about learning martial arts but not sure which one to pick…
Or you know you want to start training but keep putting it off…
If any of the above resonates with you, this is the article for you.
Everyone I know who trains BJJ will tell you “I wish I started earlier…”
It’s the most frequently heard lament from Jiu Jitsu practitioners.
It’s a phenomenon that you’ll understand only when you start training yourself.
Until then, let me share the top 3 reasons why everyone wishes they started BJJ sooner.
1. Build character and values through hard work and discipline
Many who initially pick up BJJ don’t realise that pursuing this journey will positively impact their life in so many different ways.
To learn one of the most effective self-defense systems in the world is just the tip of the iceberg for what Jiu Jitsu has to offer.
There are many subsequent benefits that one can take out of Jiu Jitsu if they trust in the process, and trust in their professors.
Jiu Jitsu is a vehicle for developing human potential, a journey that builds character and values through discipline, hard work, and respect.
And when you consistently take action and challenge yourself… it’s inevitable that you will experience personal growth on a physical, mental and spiritual level.
In the BJJ world, we have an adage about beginner practitioners: “The white belt is about learning to survive.”
As a white belt, you may not have the skills to beat higher belts. So the first step, and most important thing is to be patient, and learn to stay calm while under pressure.
Through facing your fears, insecurities and crushing pressure of your training partner, you will develop the confidence, fortitude and peace to endure stressful times. Your new found ability to deal with pressure and emotions on the mats will transfer to every aspect of life.
2. To embrace challenges and learn to improve from failure.
What makes Jiu Jitsu so unique and admirable is the long and challenging journey with many ups and downs, and many lessons to be learned along the way.
The in depth, problem solving nature of the martial art involves techniques that focus on body positioning, the use of leverage and strategic movements that allow a smaller but more knowledgeable person to out grapple a much larger opponent.
There are other nuanced skills such as balance, timing, and having a ‘feel’ for your opponent that can only be developed over time through practice.
This means that no matter your age, gender, profession, body type or athleticism, BJJ creates an even foundation where anybody can beat anybody.
A common analogy is that Jiu Jitsu much resembles life itself - where you’re facing reality each day on the mats.
You’re confronted with problems that you have to solve while under pressure. This creates a realistic, live situation where you get to practice techniques in a safe and controlled environment.
You learn new techniques.
Test it against training partners.
You learn from your failures and get better.
That’s the beauty of this martial art. It teaches you to let go of your ego, be grateful for your training partners, and to accept failure as part of the learning process.
By confronting failure on a regular basis, your mentality and outlook on challenging situations will shift.
You begin to embrace them as an opportunity to learn and test yourself.
Once you begin to embrace the process, the experience will be so much more rewarding when you know you’ve put in the work and earnt your achievements.
“Nothing is given, everything is earnt”.
3. Create meaningful friendships with people from all walks of life.
There’s a special bond and sense of comradery that’s forged when you go through adversity and hardship with your training partners.
You’ll meet individuals from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, everyone is equal on the mats.
Week by week, year by year, you stretch together, warm up together, you learn and train together.
Not only are you sharing the mats, but you share the experiences and stories created on those mats.
When you feel tired, your team will push you on.
When you get stuck on a technique, your team will teach you.
Your team will keep you accountable and support you to step into your next level self.
No matter what your reason for starting Jiu Jitsu or what your goals are, what you take away is something that you carry with you for the rest of your life. Whether that be self defense skills, life skills, friendships or better wellbeing… you will take out what you put in.