Have you ever gotten home from Brazilian jiu jitsu training and wondered what exactly are the health benefits of BJJ? After regularly attending Brazillian jiu-jitsu classes for over two years, I decided to look into the health benefits of BJJ and was enlightened by what I have learned. By the time you are finished reading this, you will understand the seven life-changing benefits of BJJ.
The Health Benefits of BJJ You Should Not Ignore!
Read more below for a better explanation and more research-based descriptions about the health benefits of BJJ.
The jiu jitsu community and prevention of loneliness
In 2018, a national survey created by Cigna showed that loneliness levels reached an all-time high. Approx. 50% of 20,000 U.S. adults reported feeling lonely most of the time.
Forty percent of survey participants also, unfortunately, described that they often feel that their relationships are not meaningful leading to isolation.
"There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators," - Holt Lunstad
These numbers are a cause for concern because of the mental health risks associated with loneliness. According to a meta-analysis co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, showed that a low level of social connection raises health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having an alcohol addiction.
She also discovered that loneliness is twice as harmful to physical and mental health as being obese (Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2015).
A black belt jiu-jitsu seminar held by Rickson Gracie. Photo from the article: Jiu-Jitsu Is A Gift! It Makes Our Communities Better ~ Frank Ungaro's BJJ Story
Group jiu jitsu classes create an enormous sense of belonging among some practitioners. As a training partner/teammate, you are a large part of another person's journey. BJJ is a social sport as you need to be able to read your opponent's body movements and react accordingly to prevent being submitted.
This art form attracts people from all aspects of life. The mats may be the best place to find people that relate to your interest outside of Jiu-Jitsu as well. If you are ever feeling lonely, remember that it may be harmful to your health and always know there will be practitioners on the mats to welcome you with open arms and friendly chokes.
BJJ Promotes Healthy Exercise
It is no secret that regular exercise and physical activity is beneficial for your health. Getting your body moving can be difficult if you can not find anything you enjoy. However, in jiu-jitsu, there are many new techniques to learn. You are rarely getting bored as there is so much to learn. If your class includes regular rolls/sparring time, it can help feed your competitive drive causing you to have a fitness goal.
No-Gi Training in a custom Submission Shark Rash Guard and Shorts
Goal Setting Is Common in BJJ
Whether it is earning your black belt, submitting your opponent in a competition or just surviving a roll without being tapped out, BJJ creates an environment where it is easy to find both short term and long term goals.
A lack of motivation and passion for life can come from not having anything to work for and when you do not have that passion and motivation, laziness and depression may set in. Address the root cause of a dull life be creating goals and effectively getting after them. Luckily you will have a community of like-minded people to help you along the way. Follow Submission Shark on Instagram and join the frenzy of passionate martial artists.
A youth Submission Shark supporter in a black BJJ gi and angel aura rash guard.
Improves Your Mood
If you have been following our community blog, you will understand the type of relief some practitioners feel from embracing this type of lifestyle. Part of this comes from some of the other benefits mentioned above. Whether it be from the physical exercise, goal setting, friendship or all of the above, BJJ is a great tool to lift your mood.
The connection made during a training session is commonly missing in everyday society and the opportunity to release your stress and negative energy in a safe environment. After a long training session, you may find it easier to stay calm in stressful situations as you have already let go of your fighting energy.
Jiu Jitsu Has Potential Benefits For Brain Health
Neuroprotection refers to the relative preservation of neuronal structure and function. In the case of an ongoing insult, the relative preservation of neuronal integrity implies a reduction in the rate of neuronal loss over time, which can be seen as a differential equation.
For many practitioners, Jiu Jitsu is like a puzzle. With each new opponent, there is a new problem presented. It challenges your brain to create solutions.
What makes the puzzle even more difficult is that your training partners different sizes, with different techniques and they are trying to solve your puzzle as well before you figure out theirs. It is a mutual simulated death clock countdown to see who can solve the puzzle first while the puzzle is evolving and moving.
Sedentary lifestyles will still decline your brainpower regardless of how many puzzles you solve. BJJ provides exercise which has added neuroprotective benefits. Our brains become quickly unhealthy by routines. Push past the predictable to better your brain health across the lifespan.
Your brain is the most complex organ in your body, and it is encouraging to see more people taking interest in keeping their brains sharp. Start taking practical steps to build and maintain your brain health.
Jiu Jitsu Can Help You Loss Weight and Gain Muscle
Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. This growing problem needs a great solution. Jiu-Jitsu, along with other exercises and a healthy diet may be the answer to this issue. Being overweight and obese kills. Obesity is preventable. With the right knowledge and correct lifestyle, countless deaths can be prevented.
Zaylen is someone that made a positive change in his life by dedicating his efforts to losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. With over 100lbs lost, his ambitions and work ethic are truly inspiring. This article is a perfect read for anyone that needs some motivation in their fitness.
Brazillian Jiu Jitsu incorporates a full-body workout and can include many different types of training. A hard 2 min roll with a 30-second rest can simulate a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) or a light warm-up and moderate-intensity drilling can be utilized for improved cardio and overall fitness.
Losing weight can be difficult if you do not enjoy the process. Luckily for many practitioners, it is a ton of fun. Practitioners cannot get enough leaving their fitness journey a joy to pursue.
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BJJ Can Open Your Mind To New Ideas
This relates more to philosophical health rather than a physical or mental benefit. However, as a sophisticated organism with an ancient desire to understand more about life and what the purpose of life is, Brazilian jiu jitsu can help you find what you are searching for.
Within the art itself, there is a lifestyle or view on life due to the consistent discipline it requires of you to improve. The sense of respect for your opponents, training partners and coaches builds a better self-awareness as you now can learn more about yourself through their reactions to your behaviour.
BJJ also attracts practitioners from all walks of life where they all bring their views and philosophies on both the art of BJJ itself and life in general. Brazilian jiu jitsu provides a safe place to connect and learn from others.
How To Get Started In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
It is crucial to understand what BJJ gear you will need before you start training. The most common answer is the BJJ gi, jiu jitsu rash guard and compression spats or shorts for no-gi BJJ. A mouth guard and a soft cup can be helpful for males as well.
Shopping for the best jiu jitsu gear can be a painful process. Luckily these jiu jitsu gear reviews from other jiu-jitsu practitioners can help guide you in the right direction!