The Unspoken Benefits of Jiu Jitsu
We are all familiar with many aspects of Jiu Jitsu but there are some benefits that are unspoken. We know that Jiu Jitsu provides us with a sense of security; we know that it is an adequate form of self-defense, and we know that it provides us with physical fitness. What about the mental benefits? Those don’t seem to be spoken about enough. Jiu Jitsu has so much more than physical benefits, you can gain far more then self-defense, physical conditioning and health.
The mental benefits of Jiu Jitsu are astounding, you can relieve stress, decrease anxiety, sharpen your problem solving, gain confidence, and more. How can Jiu Jitsu provide us with all of these amazing benefits and are their science to back all of these statements? Yes there is science and it is simple to see all the benefits. Let’s go over how Jiu Jitsu can provide us with all of these mental benefits below.
Decreasing Stress and Anxiety
We all deal with stress and anxiety, some of us more than others. For some people they can suffer from stress and anxiety disorders where they have a chronic condition, for others it depends on the circumstances present in their lives. Nonetheless, anxiety and stress are part of the human condition. It is nearly inevitable, at some point in every human’s life they will probably deal with some form of anxiety or stress.
So where does Jiu Jitsu come into play? Well, Jiu Jitsu is one of the best stress relievers in the world. You may assume that any form of physical exercise is stress relieving and this is true, physical exercise release endorphins in your brain and spikes dopamine production. These chemicals allow you to deal with stress better and put you in a better state of mind. Physical exercise also allows us to have an escape from our daily stresses and anxieties because we get to focus on something different and put our thoughts elsewhere. Jiu Jitsu in particular is an extremely immersive experience and it is an extremely cerebral experience. Yes you are exercising but you are also constantly problem solving.
This cerebral and immersive aspect of bjj is what allows Jiu Jitsu to have so much stress relieving components. Not only are you focusing on something else, you are putting your brain to work, you are problem solving and putting yourself in a fight or flight scenario. When you are caught in a submission your mind naturally gravitates to fight or flight. This experience that we have in bjj is so beneficial for stress and anxiety relief. Not only while you are in bjj but even for hours after. It makes sleeping easier, eating easier, and you are constantly thinking of what you did right and wrong in bjj. You are thinking of the problems that you had to solve and that you couldn’t’ solve.
So it helps with stress because of the chemicals produced while training, the cerebral experience, the problem solving, and the immersive experience. So you thought that we would stop there right? Well the other benefits of bjj are in the human contact form. Being social and with a group of individuals also helps us to decrease our anxieties and stresses, and being as close as we are with bjj, people are more prone to be social. It is very easy to talk to someone when they were just trying to choke you or on top of you for 5 minutes. When we are this close with people are brain also releases other chemicals that help us feel better. So bjj is an excellent form of stress and anxiety reduction.
Sharpening your Problem Solving and Gaining Confidence
Another excellent mental benefit of bjj is the fact that it will sharpen your problem solving skills in nearly every aspect of your life and it will increase your confidence. As we explained above, bjj is an extremely cerebral experience; therefore, you will learn to think quickly and under pressure. This is a characteristic that is very hard to come by. All too often we see people who tend to cave under pressure, naturally. When you train Jiu Jitsu you will learn to think about solutions to problems quicker than ever before and you will be able to do this under pressure. Think about the situations bjj presents you. You are stuck in an arm bar, if you don’t tap or get out of the submission quick your arm is in great danger. You have to make a quick decision, tap out, or find a solution. Sometimes the solution may be to tap, and that is more than okay. Even when you tap you have made a cognitive decision to react to a high pressure situation. Tapping does not mean that you gave up; it means that you have exhausted the possibility of finding a solution and acknowledged that the best response to the current situation is to tap.
Jiu Jitsu will also give you confidence. Confidence is hard to come by and it is one of the most vital characteristics to obtain these days. We live in a world where many of us rather increase are self-image on social media then in real life and it has led people to have confidence levels at an all-time low. Having confidence can help you in so many aspects of your life, knowing that you are comfortable with yourself can have a heap of benefits. It also gives us the confidence to have a sense of security no matter where we are. People who train bjj know that they can handle any situation at any time. This is a skill that is worth more money than anything in the world.
So there you have it, bjj is great for so many reasons! Keep training my friends! If you want to check out our latest DVD check out Travis Stevens new DVD “Fundamentals & Concepts.” Travis is a Judo Olympic Silver Medalist and top level bjj black belt. His understanding of grappling is unprecedented and he will sharpen every aspect of your game!