Mental and Psychological Benefits of BJJ
You might be surprised to learn that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu not only is physically satisfying, but it can be meditative in many ways.
It seems far-fetched to think that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can provide some of the same benefits that come from “formal” meditation, but it’s entirely possible that the many thousands of students who are practicing BJJ often are enjoying the benefits of meditation without even realizing it.
First and foremost, the self-defense aspect of learning this martial art is above all other reasons. The ability to defend yourself or others in a critical scenario leads to improved confidence and an ability to calmly diffuse a troubling situation. This doesn’t mean you need to resort to physical violence to manage conflict, though. By simply knowing that you can handle yourself in a time of potential danger, a person can manage the conflict without ever needing to use the skills or techniques that they have learned from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
However, unexpected conflict is unexpected for a reason – and it’s very difficult to manage. If it comes down to it, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student will be able to apply his realistic martial arts techniques to manage the situation by controlling the attacker and negating potential damage. So, of course, the ability to defend yourself is always going to be a primary reason why many start learning BJJ.
However, we often forget that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provides major psychological benefits that are arguably even more important than the physical benefits. These benefits are not just realized in a time of self-defense, but they can lead to major benefits in the workplace and in relationships.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu almost immediately produces positive psychological benefits for every student. The release of endorphins and dopamine is responsible for improved overall mental well-being. In particular, this release can boost motivation and energy, and increase cognitive function. Students of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu frequently report feeling a deeper understanding of their body, mind, and spirit by simply training and practicing the martial art. Furthermore, BJJ helps to identify physical and mental strengths, limitations, opportunities and also enables an improved state of peacefulness.
As students complete their training with a session of sparring (rolling), there is a feeling of connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Suddenly, the mind is able to think clearly and there is a level of focus that was not there previously. So, while Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helps to develop and free our minds while we are practicing on the mats, the positive effects are often realized during the time we are not inside the BJJ gym.
As the Eastern version of martial arts realized many, many years ago, there is much more to martial arts than just the combat. It’s important that we don’t forget that the mind is equal to the body and we are adequately training our minds and bodies at the same time whenever we are practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Today, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not just an extremely useful and highly-effective martial art in self-defense situations, it is also used in high-level sporting competitions such as mixed martial arts and competitive BJJ tournaments around the world. Essentially, those who are practicing BJJ are improving, healing, and adapting their minds while also learning world-class self-defense strategy, techniques, and mindset.
We believe that BJJ is not just an effective and enjoyable martial art but also a brilliant way to practice mental awareness. If improving your confidence and transforming your mind and body sounds good to you, give BJJ a go!