11 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting. It is a relatively new form of martial arts, having been developed in the early 20th century. Despite its young age, BJJ has gained in popularity all over the world, and for good reason.

    BJJ Gym blue


    BJJ teaches practitioners how to defend themselves against larger opponents using leverage and technique. But BJJ is more than just a self-defense system; it can also be used as a metaphor for life. In this blog post, we will discuss eleven life lessons that you can learn from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

    Don't Give Up On Yourself (This Doesn't Mean Not Taping Out!)

    In BJJ, as in life, you will face challenges and adversity. There will be times when you are outnumbered and outmatched. But giving up is not an option. If you quit in a BJJ match, you will lose. And if you quit in life, you will miss out on opportunities and experiences. You have to be resilient and keep going, no matter how tough things get.

    Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. There are a lot of things you can learn from it, but one of the most important is that you can never give up.

    In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you'll be in situations where your opponent has you pinned to the ground and moves to mount you. In these situations, it's incredibly easy to feel hopeless and think there's no way out of it. But when this happens, you have two options:

    1. Give up
    2. Keep trying until you figure out how to get back on top of your opponent or defend yourself against their attack.

    BJJ warrior (Submission Shark)

    If you think about Brazilian jiu-jitsu in terms of life itself, this concept applies everywhere: You're going to face situations where everything seems like it's against you and there's no way out—but if you give up, then nothing will change.


    If instead of giving up or giving in, though, you try harder than ever before at achieving what matters most to you (whether that's getting ahead at work or finding love), then even if things don't work out exactly as planned, they will still improve with time because now they're different than before!

    There Is Always A Way To Improve

    No matter how good you are at BJJ, there is always room for improvement. The same is true in life. You can always find new ways to learn and grow. Don’t be content with where you are; always strive to be better. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that teaches you how to use leverage and leverage points against your opponent.


    The key is to never give up, even when you don't see a way out or think you are defeated. If you can find a way to improve your position, then you can win. This can be applied in any situation where you think there is no possible way out of a situation. It may not look like it, but there is always a way if you are willing to put in the effort.

    BJJ Warrior in Gi armor

    Whether it's learning new systems of guard passing or developing a new style of takedowns, you can always find ways to improve your BJJ. This same lesson can be applied in life too. There are always opportunities to learn something new and strive for personal growth no matter where you are in your journey. Each role presents a new learning experience and each day presents a new opportunity to become better.

    Learn From Your Mistakes

    No matter how experienced a practitioner becomes, they will still make mistakes when practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is a good thing, though; mistakes are how we learn and improve. The same can be said for life. Sometimes others force these mistakes to happen. In BJJ, baits can be used to lure an opponent into making a mistake.

    BJJ Lady

    This is why it’s important to learn from your mistakes and not dwell on them. It’s easy to become frustrated when you make a mistake, but instead of being mad at yourself or others, take some time to think about what happened and why it happened. Doing this will help you understand the situation better and give you insight into how to prevent similar mistakes in the future.


    Life is always full of new challenges and opportunities, so don’t let one mistake define you. Learn from it and use it to become a better person.

    It’s Not About Winning or Losing

    The goal is not solely to win or lose; it's far more than that. The goal is to learn and grow. Even if you lose a match, you can still take something positive away from the experience. The same is true for life. You will make mistakes, but that’s okay. What matters is how you learn from those mistakes and become a better person as a result.

    Brazilian jiu-jitsu teaches practitioners how to lose and how to play. If every roll (even with the new white belt that's half your size) is one of pure violence, no one is going to want to train with you. This feedback typically sends a message that you are not open to developing others or yourself.

    Rather than going in with the mindset of “I must win at all costs,” put your focus on improving the overall team. This creates sociable skills that can translate into life outside of the mat.

    Humans thrive through collaboration and if you want to be invited to more roles or games outside of the gym, focus on the bigger picture. Even if you don’t win, it is still possible to make a lasting impression and learn something in the process. If you lose, be happy for the other person and take away something positive from it.

    Have Fun and Make Friends Along The Way

    The journey of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rarely is a lonely one. To expand on the last point, the best way to make friends and gain trust with your training partners is to have fun. Learn how to laugh off a mistake or be happy for the other person when they win. This can be applied to life as well.

    BJJ friends at the gym

    Surround yourself with positive people who will support you and push you to be the best version of yourself. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great opportunity to find friends who share the same passion as you. Life is supposed to be enjoyed, so don’t forget to have fun and make friends along the way.


    The friends you share the mats with know what it's like to feel smothered or to go in with a game plan and have it completely ruined by a surprise sweep. These are the types of people that understand you best and will be there for you during the highs and lows. Have personal goals, but don't overlook the value of having a great support system.

    Discipline and Respect

    One of the first things you learn when you start training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that it's not about winning or losing. It's about learning how to tie your belt properly, and how to hold your hand out for a handshake without crushing the other person's hand. It's about learning to control your breathing while you're getting choked out, and it's about learning how to shake hands with someone after they've tried to crush your skull.

    Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn't just about learning moves—it's about learning how to be respectful, and how to treat your opponent with kindness even when they're trying to submit you. You'll develop patience for yourself and for others as well as an appreciation for what it takes to become a better person through hard work.

    Be Patient and Persevere

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be frustrating at times, but with patience and perseverance, you can find moments of joy and success. While it might be tempting to give up when things get tough, don’t underestimate the power of patience and persistence. It might take months or even years to reach a certain level, but if you stay committed and continue pushing yourself, it will be worth it in the end.

    Lira BJJ


    It's one of the most difficult martial arts and getting a black belt can take a long time. Some people that step on the mats are natural learners, and others require weeks or even months just to get the basic movements down.

    Ultimately, the journey is different for everyone. You should never compare yourself to others—just stay focused and keep trying your best.

    Careers may not take off overnight, relationships can sometimes feel like a battle, and failures might be frequent. However, you never know what will happen if you keep trying, so don’t give up. Life can have its ups and downs, but the lessons learned on the mats of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will help you handle the toughest of times.

    There Is No "One-Size-Fits-All" Style or Approach

    In BJJ, there is no such thing as a perfect technique. There are always different ways to do things, and no one way is better than the others. The same is true in life. There is no one right way to do things. What matters is that you find a way that works for you and stick with it.

    The fact that you're reading this article means you've probably heard the saying "perfect practice makes perfect." But when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there are no perfect techniques. Even the best BJJ practitioners in the world can't say they have mastered their techniques; instead, they get better at applying them with each match.

    What does this mean for you? It means that even if you think you've mastered a certain move or strategy, there's always room for improvement—and probably even more room than you think! So don't be afraid to experiment and try new things in training and on the mat, because nothing is ever set in stone in BJJ.

    Submission Shark BJJ GiSubmission Shark Rash Guard


    There's also no perfect one size fits all style. Guard players may prefer a more defensive approach, while people preferring the pass may prefer to be more aggressive. Experimentation and adaptation are key in this art, as it is in life. There are guidelines and basic principles but after a few years, your own style and personality will start to emerge.

    Waking up at 5 AM to go to work might not be optimal for you. Perhaps, a flow state approach to working is more suitable, or maybe you just have a different way of doing things. You might even find that your own unique approach and style are actually more efficient than traditional methods.

    Timing Is Important (Don't Miss Your Opportunity)

    Timing is an important factor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You need to be ready and aware of what’s happening on the mat at all times, or you might miss your opportunity to take a dominant position and submit your opponent.

    The same applies to life: Opportunities come and go quickly, so it’s important to be ready and take advantage of them while you can. Many times, we miss out on amazing opportunities because we weren’t paying attention or simply weren’t prepared.

    BJJ Clock

    Don't get too comfortable in life and make sure you're constantly on the lookout for new opportunities. Whether it's a job, a relationship, or a new experience, be ready to take advantage of them when they come around. Stay ready and don't let things pass your guard.

    Life is all about being able to adapt and seize the moment. You never know what will come your way, so don't miss out on something that could potentially change your life for the better. With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as your teacher, you'll be able to see the signs and take advantage of them when they appear.

    You Can Keep Growing No Matter Your Age or Skill Level

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that can be practiced by people of all ages and skill levels. It doesn't matter if you are young or old, beginner or advanced; everyone has something to learn and something to improve on.

    The same is true in life. We can always keep growing and developing our skills, no matter what our ages or current skill levels are. Don't let age be an excuse for not learning new things; you are never too old to take a course, read a book, or even just challenge yourself in some other way.

    If you commit to the process, there's no reason why you can't keep learning and growing throughout your life. So don't be afraid to take a chance on something new and never stop challenging yourself. There's always something new out there that could help you become an even better version of yourself.

    It’s Not About The Destination, It’s About The Journey

    It sounds like a cliché, but there’s something to be said for that. If you take BJJ classes, you’ll learn how to stay calm when things are going wrong and how to keep going even when you feel like giving up. You learn how to be patient and persistent with yourself, which is essential in any field of study. And most importantly, you will learn how to listen to your body.

    When you train BJJ, it teaches you how to use your body as one unit so that when it is attacked or defending itself from an opponent, all parts of your body work together as one unit instead of being separate parts moving independently from each other. This allows you to understand not only what each part contributes but also what happens when one part moves without the others—which can lead to injury or defeat.

    From one position to the next, there are micro movements. Grips that you must first acquire, transitions that you must master, and submissions that you must practice. Each technique is a journey and each step along the way will take you closer to your destination.

    As you progress, you realize that the journey is far more important than the destination. It can be gratifying to get that submission or that promotion but the art of mastery comes from the journey, not the destination.

    Bjj journey

    In life, it’s easy to get so focused on the goals that we forget to enjoy and appreciate the process of getting there. BJJ teaches us how to stay present in every moment, savor each move we make, and learn something from each mistake we encounter. There will always be peaks and valleys, successes and failures. But it’s the journey that will shape us into who we become. Enjoy the process of getting there and you’ll find that the destination is much sweeter.


    Jiu-jitsu doesn't just teach you martial arts, it also imparts life lessons along the way. While different instructors have different takes on what these life lessons are, there are some key tenets that students can expect to learn. These include leadership, teamwork, and perseverance in the face of failure. So the next time a higher belt berates your technique during class, think to yourself: at least I'm getting something out of it.

    BJJ Gym in blue

    These are just a few of the many life lessons that you can learn from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you are looking for a way to improve your life, BJJ is a great place to start!

    If you liked this article, feel free to share it with others and let us know in the comments below what life lessons you have learned through your BJJ journey. Happy rolling!

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