Unexpected Benefits of BJJ
The positive changes of BJJ aren't only on the mats
When you first start BJJ, you will often hear people talk about the self-defense or the fitness aspects of it. But that’s not all there is to it. The longer you’re involved, the more benefits you notice. When I began training I was out of shape, as I never really was an athlete. I had terrible posture. I was shy and soft spoken. When I’d speak, I would speak as if I were expecting people to talk over me.
If I eat terribly throughout the day then hit the mats, I know I’m in for a long, rough night. But when fasting or eating the right foods, I know my energy levels on the mats will be substantially higher. This not only translates to the mats, though. If I have a lot of work to do around the house on the weekends or after work, I know a large, heavy meal at lunch is going to drag me down. These little changes, to eat healthy and not heavy, are something that I noticed first with my Jiu Jitsu then next with my day to day routine.
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Professionally, I feel more confident in my work now. I know what I’m doing, I’m sure of it, and I will speak up when I need to. If I make a mistake or incorrectly do something, I admit to it, figure out the right way, and fix anything I may need to. Coworkers and managers respect you a lot more when they see that you don’t push the blame of failures on someone else and you take actions to fix what was wrong. At my old jobs, I would accept blame and take the ass-chewing.
This past summer I had an international flight scheduled where I needed to be checked into the airport at 11 AM. At around 10:30, I received a phone call that my flight was cancelled. I had reservations the next morning for when I arrived and would lose out on a few thousand dollars if I did not get there in time. The airline was not very accommodating nor did they care about my soon to be loss. As frustrated as I was, unlike my wife, I knew that I couldn’t and shouldn’t freak out. When you do, you run a much higher chance of something else going wrong (think of when you’re trying to pass someone’s guard who is very dangerous from this position). But after asking a couple questions and making a few phone calls, I was able to switch flights that would have me on the ground about an hour and a half later than I originally had scheduled. If it was the old me, I would have eaten that loss.
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These are just two examples of how BJJ has helped me. In Jiu Jitsu, we are training our minds just as much as we are training our bodies. For me, being confident in my day to day activities and being able to take steps back to assess my current situations is something I take pride in. When you look back on the person you were when you started versus the person you are now, I guarantee you can see the differences. My list will most likely vary from yours. As we keep going, we add little bits and pieces every so often to make us better.
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