You have heard about BJJ, maybe you listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast or watched a UFC event or have a friend who won’t stop talking about it. Now you want to know if training BJJ is the right decision for you. I’ll make the case that everyone should at least try BJJ once.
What are the 10 Reasons why everyone should train and learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)? BJJ is a great way to get in shape and lose weight. BJJ can help you relax and release stress in your life. BJJ can help improve your flexibility. BJJ can teach you to defend yourself and loved ones. BJJ is a great place to meet new people and make new friends. BJJ is safe. BJJ can be modified to suit anyone’s needs. BJJ helps with mental ability. BJJ will help you develop confidence. BJJ is challenging.
Does BJJ Get You In Shape?
Yes BJJ does get you in shape. BJJ is a great all over body workout which works the back, arms, legs and abs. BJJ helps improve your coordination, strength, flexibility, endurance and cardio making it a great way to get in shape.
BJJ training typically starts with a warm up which consists of gymnastic movements and calisthenics. Gymnastic movements are a great way to increase your coordination and posture. Calisthenics are great for building muscle and increasing your strength.
Following the warm-up the technical drilling portion of the training takes place. The coach will demonstrate techniques and the students will mimic the techniques on their partners. This section of the training is a great way to improve your hand eye coordination. As many BJJ techniques require you to stretch your arms and legs to perform them correctly, BJJ will force you to improve your flexibility. Usually within a few months of BJJ training people will have much greater range of motion particularly in their hips and shoulders. By performing hundreds of reps of different techniques you also get your heart rate going which improves your cardio.
The final portion of training involves sparring. This is where you will have mock matches with your training partner. Usually you will do 4-6 rounds of sparring. This is by far the most intense part of the BJJ training session. During sparring your heart rate will be very elevated and your muscles will be pushed to exhaustion. Sparring is a great way to improve your cardio and muscular endurance.
As BJJ helps improve your coordination, strength, flexibility, endurance and cardio, BJJ is a great way to get you in awesome shape.
Does BJJ Help You Lose Weight?
BJJ can help you lose weight rapidly. An hour of BJJ results in you burning between 800-1000 calories. As BJJ training usually lasts between 1-2 hours BJJ will help you burn lots of calories making it easy for you to generate a calorie deficit and lose weight. As BJJ is so fun and addictive you will have no problem training regularly making your weight loss journey much easier.
To speed up your weight loss journey I recommend you combine BJJ training with a high quality diet made up of lots of fruit, vegetables and organic meat. If you train BJJ regularly plus eat a healthy diet you will be smashing your weight loss goals in no time.
Mental and Emotional Benefits Of BJJ
There numerous mental and emotional benefits of training BJJ.
Life seems easier
BJJ is a tough sport. You are literally trying to strangle each other. Training BJJ can be exciting, scary, nerve wracking and painful. After dealing with the challenges of BJJ the problems life throws at you seem much easier to deal with. After overcoming the difficulties of BJJ training you feel like nothing can get you down.
You will notice an Increase in your confidence
It can be a liberating feeling knowing you can defend yourself and your loved ones in a self defence scenario. After training BJJ for a while you visually see the improved confidence. People will stand taller, speak louder, smile more and make jokes. A person who is able to conquer something as difficult as BJJ feels confident that they can conquer other areas of their
You will feel calmer and less stressed
BJJ due to its rigorous nature results in a flood of positive emotions particularly following training as your body is filled with a rush of endorphins. BJJ takes it a step further as the feeling you get after a hard sparring session is an even deeper feeling of relaxation as you were able to overcome a difficult fight. Not to mention that people who spend hours trying to choke each other every week are less likely to feel to need to prove themselves in a street fight scenario. Someone who trains BJJ is often the last person to start a street fight as they are secure in themselves.
You will have a well conditioned mind
BJJ is known as physical chess. BJJ requires a cerebral approach where you come up with your own strategies and try to anticipate and solve your opponent’s strategy before they can solve yours. This reality creates a great area to develop your mind and improve your mental capability. People who do well in BJJ tend to be thinkers, who enjoy problem solving. You should think of BJJ as a brain teaser but if you get the answer wrong you get put to sleep
You will develop a humble and appreciative mindset
Many people are insecure and develop an ego to protect this insecurity. BJJ exposes many insecurities particularly concerning your ability to fight and your physical prowess. BJJ shows you the reality of violence and your position in the hierarchy. After coming to terms with your potentially not so impressive fighting ability you will be forced to develop a humble attitude and a beginner’s mindset which you can take with you outside the BJJ academy and successfully apply to all areas of your life.
Is BJJ Good For Self Defence?
Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) good for self defence? Yes BJJ is good for self defence especially in a one on one situation. Winning a fight is all about establishing control over your opponent in the quickest and easiest way without being hurt. BJJ teaches you easy and effective ways which have been proven in practice on how to establish control over your attacker without being hurt.
BJJ also teaches you how to end a fight through submissions which have the potential to maim people such as arm and leg locks and kill people such as chokes. Most Street fights result in people grabbing each other and falling to the ground. BJJ teaches you how to dominate your opponent quickly and easily through submissions both standing and on the ground, takedowns and pins.
Making Friends In BJJ
BJJ due to its close contact nature will force you to meet and become close with new people. This creates a great environment to make new friends. Many people have developed close friendships with their gym mates and some have even met their husband or wife on the mats. BJJ athletes tend to come from all backgrounds which gives you an opportunity to get to know people you wouldn’t typically interact with in other social settings.
Some tips if you want to make friends in BJJ. Don’t try to coach people, especially if you are less experienced than the person you are trying to give instructions to. The common archetype known as “Professor While Belt” is universally loathed in the BJJ world. Who as the name suggests is someone typically a white belt who has delusions of grandeur and insists on coaching people who know a lot more about BJJ than they do. Don’t be overly aggressive when you are sparring someone you don’t know. Developing a relationship with a sparring partner is a bit like dating, start off slow until you build some rapport first. Practice good hygiene. It is fairly obvious no one wants to train with someone who stinks. Do as the Romans do, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Follow what other people in your gym are doing. Look out for your teammates’ safety. Be on time and train your best every session. If you follow these tips you will be well liked in your gym and may even make a new friend or two.
Is BJJ Safe?
Is BJJ safe? Yes BJJ is the safest contact martial art with the lowest injury rates. You are more likely to be injured playing soccer than training BJJ. Helio Gracie And Kano designed BJJ techniques to be able to be performed easily and in a safe manner. There is also a strong culture in BJJ of protecting your training partners. If you ever find yourself in a dangerous position you always have the option to tap and restart preventing a lot of potential injuries.
BJJ has an injury rate of 36 per 1000 participants whereas soccer has an injury rate of 37 per 1000 participants. If you aren’t worried about playing soccer then you shouldn’t worry about trying BJJ.
Can Anyone Train BJJ?
Yes, anyone can train BJJ. I have seen old women to young boys and everyone in between training BJJ. BJJ techniques were designed to be done by everyone. They were designed to be done with little strength or coordination. The difficulty and intensity of BJJ to match the student. Whether the student is a 22 year old man who wants to become a world champion or is a 60 year old woman who just wants to get in shape and improve her flexibility BJJ can be modified to accommodate everyone.
I know at my gym older students will either skip the warm ups or do a modified less intense warm up. Then during drilling they will take regular breaks and during sparring they will either do some light sparring, continue drilling or end their training early. BJJ is like running. You can go for a light jog or you can run 400m laps until you throw up. It all depends on your goals.
How Long Does It Take To Learn BJJ?
BJJ takes a minute to learn the rules and a lifetime to master. Typically someone training BJJ can get a decent grasp of basics within 3 months. After about 2 years you will be a Blue Belt and be considered to be intermediate. After about 6-8 years you should be advanced and be around a Brown Belt level. Finally after around 10 years you should be an expert in BJJ and be ready for your Black Belt.
Is Training BJJ 3 Times A Week Enough?
Training BJJ 3 times a week is a great amount if you want to get in shape and improve your BJJ ability. I see people constantly ask if they are training enough. Don’t worry, many people have become Black Belts by training 3 times a week. Of course your progress may be slower than someone who is training 10 times a week but you should only compare yourself to yourself. If you train BJJ 3 times you will see steady and constant improvement in your BJJ ability.
Training BJJ 3 times a week is a great amount because it is regular enough that you will retain techniques you have learned while being able to add new techniques to your arsenal, at the same time the training volume is low enough that your body has enough time to recover so you can be fresh for every session. Now if your goal is to be a professional competitor then I would say no training BJJ 3 times a week is not enough. If your goal is to become a BJJ professional then I would recommend training 6 times a week and seeing how your body reacts to that training volume before increasing or decreasing your training.
When Should I Start BJJ?
The best time to start training BJJ was 10 years ago. The second best time is today. With so many BJJ gyms open and most offering at least one free trial class there is no excuse not to head down to your gym and try it out today. Just remember to take it easy, relax and follow your coach’s instructions.
You will have a great time. I recommend you stick with it for at least a month to decide if you like it or not as it may take you a few times to get comfortable with the environment and the close contact nature of the sport.
There are so many reasons why everyone should train and learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). I have given you 10 of my personal favourites. I think after reading this article you will conclude that giving BJJ a go at least once is worth it. You never know you may find yourself a new hobby, a great way to stay in shape and a few new friends.