8 Ways That Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Can Improve Your Life

Table of Contents

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very dominant martial art when it comes to self defence and combat but the absolute best things learned from BJJ are not the lessons about how to choke someone or submit someone in a minute but the character and life lessons it teaches it’s disciples, ones that help improve their life.

Speak to any BJJ practitioner and they all will tell you that BJJ helps you both on the mat and even more so off the mat and has become the main pillar in many practitioners’ lives.

BJJ is The Ultimate Confidence Builder

Every single person who practices BJJ has one thing in common, the fact that they all started as a white belt, knowing nothing and had to go through some challenging times, getting tapped over and over again in order to learn the art of jiu-jitsu properly. 

Lucio Rodrigues IBJJF Champion
Lucio Rodrigues IBJJF Champion

There is no doubt that in doing so they not only built physical skills but also emotional ones, their confidence built step by step, roll by roll, lesson by lesson only increases each and every day until the realize that the power of BJJ is within their hands, they realize that instead of saying I can’t they can say I can.

The confidence that BJJ helps people find is unparalleled as at the end of the day, when rolling you are going through something in the moment a game is played where in a way it is life and death although you can always tap out. As students progress they understand that they are no longer the hunted but the hunter, they understand they are no longer the prey but the predator and they understand that if they put in the hard work and dedication that they can do anything they put their mind to.

BJJ Keep You in Top Level Functional Shape

A typical 1 hour BJJ class can burn up to 800 calories depending on the size of the individual and intensity of the class, it works both cardio and strength, it is a very healthy way to functionally workout as you are working your entire body while also increasing athletic attributes that are real world.

BJJ also increases flexibility and especially works many muscles that cannot be exercised in a gym and is one of the best sports for both ab development and posterior chain strength.

BJJ Helps You Keep Calm

Everyone who practices BJJ will tell you that you will always end up in uncomfortable and tough situations when rolling with your training partners. As practitioners mature within the BJJ system they can be seen being more and more calm when stuck in a challenging position as they understand that there is no need to be anxious and nervous when in bad positions as it is only a matter of technique, tactics and timing in order to get out of such a position.

BJJ teaches that with every tight situation you must stay calm and breathe, it is one of the most important life lessons that can be carried off the mats into your everyday life.

BJJ Teaches Humility and to Leave Your Ego at The Door

No matter who starts BJJ, no matter how big, strong and tough they are, that person will find themselves in defeat when rolling as they simply do not have the knowledge nor capabilities that a seasoned BJJ practitioner has.

Renzo Gracie BJJ Seminar
Renzo Gracie BJJ Seminar

The only way to progress is by admitting and identifying your weaknesses as well as leaving your ego at the door. You start to understand there is always someone better than you and you see those that are better than you generally being humble as they too understand there are people better than them.

This teaches humility, which thus turns the practitioner into a better student and better jiu-jiteiro as they start using their ears instead of their mouths when dealing with class and ultimately life.

BJJ Develops a Strong Work Ethic

Students who continue with BJJ often develop a strong work ethic as it is extremely clear to them that those who put in the work, reap the benefits in class. They see this when rolling with their peers and they understand it as ultimately the competitor within comes out and they want to become better at the soft art of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Most practitioners who continue BJJ follow the sport of BJJ, often watching and even competing in IBJJF tournaments. They also start developing a taste for the game and as a result start looking up to the top BJJ competitors and noticing one key thing – they all work hard.

BJJ Teaches to Go For The Finish

BJJ ultimately is a game of who can get the submission. A large part of going for the submission is not only knowing how to get to submission but when to go for the submission and deciding that you are going to go for the submission. 

Lucas Lepri vs Gregor Gracie
Lucas Lepri vs Gregor Gracie

This may seem like something small at first but the decision to go for the submission is one that carries on into life, it is about deciding to go for something and knowing the consequences of the action, it is about being confident in your abilities in order to act on something. It awards people who are not apprehensive in their decision to act and it teaches you whether you like it or not to not be scared of believing in your decision to take action.

BJJ is About Logic

A truly complex spider web of moves that look like chaos to the non practitioner, BJJ is 100% about using your body, principles of leverage and your opponents body in a logical way to attain victory. BJJ is called Human Chess and it truly is for good reason as there is a constant cause and effect that is the true center of every BJJ match.

Every set of moves has reasoning behind it, it has logic in the sequence for example you pull someone to get them to place their hand in position “A” so you can then attack the arm, and if they defend the attack on the arm you move your body to a certain angle to affect their balance for a sweep etc…all in logical sequence. If the sequence is not logical, the moves will not work and ultimately you may find yourself in defeat.

BJJ is a Martial Art of Perseverance

Royce Gracie
Royce Gracie

The great BJJ legend Saulo Ribeiro once said “Iron must go through fire to become steel”, this is an extremely important BJJ lesson that has much relevance to the soft art. BJJ classes are challenging, rolling with your peers is challenging and competing and getting ready for BJJ competitions is challenging but through all the sweat and hard times, a person learns perseverance and to go through the fire to become steel.

Final Thoughts on How BJJ Can Improve Your Life

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s best lessons perhaps are not the takedowns, arm bars, sweeps and chokes but the character its practitioners develop. BJJ ultimately develops human beings, capable of overcoming challenges and helping create better human beings, ones that are exactly what is needed in today’s society.

Ultimately it is the lesson on how to defeat yourself and not others which is the real gift of BJJ. Jiu-jitsu is a never ending journey and in that journey we grow not only outside but inside as well. BJJ truly is a beautiful martial and way of life.


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