6 Psychological Benefits of doing Jiu Jitsu
It is no secret that Brazilian jiu jitsu helps improve the psyches of its practitioners. From day one, we learn about ourselves, what we can handle and we learn to push through difficulty and adversity. It can be hard to narrow in on the precise ways that BJJ helps us out though, and sometimes it is nice to know what these ways are, either to remind us why we grind day in and day out, or to simply have a good way to explain to friends or family why it is that we do what we do.
Here are 6 major ways that jiu jitsu helps its practitioners on a psychological level:
1. Everything seems easier. This may be an overstatement, obviously there are going to be areas of life that are more difficult than jiu jitsu, but generally in the day to day life of the average jiujiteiro things that may have had a negative impact are no longer that important and we can more clearly see our own strengths and weaknesses because we are forced to see them so often on the mat.
2. Increased confidence. Doing just about any sport will increase the confidence of its practitioners, but martial arts are special and, well, BJJ is even MORE special. The reason for this is that it is one of the very few actually combat effective martial arts that can be practiced day in and day out going full speed without completely destroying its practitioners. BJJ instructional videos can also help you improve when you are not in the gym.
3. Less aggression/being calmer. Training regularly has a similar effect as just about any other rigorous exercise in that it allows us to vent negative and positive emotions in a healthy way, and it sends endorphins through our bodies. On the other hand, if you spend a few nights a week choking other people your urge to choke people OFF the mat will probably go down. Jiu jitsu practitioners tend to be calmer and more even keeled than most other athletes for this reason, and that is definitely a major benefit of training.
4. A stimulated mind. Rolling is a lot like playing chess with your body. The better you get the more you are able to foresee the other person’s movement, making it on a fundamental level a fantastic game that we can play. It also opens one’s mind up much like a puzzle or a game of chess can. Often people who train seriously have better problem solving skills than those who do not. These skills are applicable just about everywhere in life.
5. Training partners are great friends. I have seen several memes make their rounds that allude to the fact that people who train tend to socialize mostly with other people who train. The more you train jiu jitsu the more you want to talk about jiu jitsu and, let’s face it, the chances of a colleague or friend who does not do jiu jitsu being interested in jiu jitsu is fairly low. The result is that we wind up with like minded people who also set high goals for themselves on the mat. These are good friends to have and they will motivate you on a psychological level to reach higher goals.
6. A new found sense of humility. Very often, people who don’t train can develop misconceptions about their own physical prowess and abilities. It is just the reality of the human psyche. People think they could do things that they in fact could not, and they have a delusional self perception. Jiu Jitsu is a great way to shed those delusions and feel powerlessness on a daily basis without necessarily injuring yourself. Eddie Bravo once referred to jiu jitsu as a douchebag filter, which is an apt description. Most people do not realize the long term benefits of humility, but they are numerous!
If you haven’t already seen it, check out this amazing video of Joe Rogan talking about the benefits of jiu jitsu in his own blunt but brilliant way.
When it comes to the psychological development of a jiujiteiro, there is arguably no bigger step than that from white to blue belt. Take a look at this fantastic DVD in which Travis Lutter covers the Road to Blue Belt https://bjjfanatics.com/product/dvd/road-blue-belt-2-dvd-set-travis-lutter