9 Reasons Why BJJ Improves Self-Confidence

    So you're thinking about taking up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)? Well, get ready to not only improve your physical fitness but also boost your self-confidence. That's right; BJJ can have a profound impact on how you view yourself and your abilities.

    A bjj practitioner looking confident in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    From mastering new techniques to developing mental toughness, BJJ is a martial art that challenges you both physically and mentally. Through discipline, perseverance, and a lot of hard work, BJJ can help you achieve your goals, overcome your fears, and become the best version of yourself. So, are you ready to take on the challenge? Let's get rolling!

    Reason #1 - You Learn New Skills

    Learning new skills is one of the key reasons why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) can boost your self-confidence. Learning new techniques and moves and seeing yourself progress over time is exciting. But how can you ensure you're making the most of your learning experience?

    Firstly, it's important to master the fundamentals. It can be tempting to jump straight into fancy moves, but a solid foundation is essential. Ensure you know the basics before moving on to more advanced techniques.

    Secondly, keep a training journal. Writing down your training sessions can help you reflect on what you've learned and what you need to work on. It's also a great way to track your progress and celebrate your achievements.

    A bjj practitioner looking confident at a long journey ahead on a path in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    Also, setting the right goals is essential. Having a goal in mind can help you stay motivated and focused. But make sure your goals are realistic and achievable so you don't get discouraged. Stripes are a great way to mark smaller achievements and keep you motivated in the long run. In addition, even just stepping on the mats is a big accomplishment in itself. We discuss this more here: Why The White Belt Is The Most Difficult Belt To Achieve In BJJ.

    BJJ white belts celebrating

    Fourthly, be enthusiastic about BJJ. Approach each training session with a positive attitude and an open mind. Embrace the learning process and enjoy the journey. Remember, it's not just about the end goal; it's also about the journey and all that you learn.

    Finally, don't worry about getting tapped out. Everyone gets tapped out, even the most experienced practitioners. It's an opportunity to learn and improve, so don't let it knock your confidence. BJJ is humbling, but once you start to gain some skills, your confidence should improve. You can learn more about this here: Why The Mats Don't Lie (BJJ Is Honest).

    Reason #2 - It Improves Physical Fitness

    If you want to improve your physical fitness, then Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) might be the perfect fit. BJJ is a full-body workout that targets the core, back, glutes, and legs, helping you to build endurance and strength. But it's not just about the physical benefits.


    One of the great things about BJJ is that it's a full-contact sport that requires you to use your entire body. You'll constantly be moving and engaging your muscles, which can help you to burn calories and build muscle. This practitioner lost over 100 pounds thanks to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Zaylen Crannell's BJJ Story.

    Reason #3 - It Helps You To Achieve Your Goals

    Setting and achieving goals is a crucial aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) that can help to boost your self-confidence. But how can you set achievable goals and keep yourself motivated to reach them?

    • Decide on something you want to do or work towards. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve is important.
    • Write down your goal carefully. This helps clarify your thoughts and make your goal more tangible.
    • Tell someone about your goal. Sharing your goals with others can keep you accountable and motivated.
    • Break your goal down into smaller, achievable steps. This can make your goal more manageable and less overwhelming.
    • Plan your first step. Taking action toward your goal is essential, so having a clear plan is important.

    Accepting your current state and creating a desired state is also important. You need to understand where you currently are regarding your skills and abilities and what you must do to get to where you want to be.

    A bjj practitioner looking confident and strong at a long journey ahead on a path in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    Lastly, take action to get you there. Whether it's training more frequently, seeking out a coach, or watching training videos, taking action toward your goal is the most important step.

    By setting and achieving goals in BJJ, you can improve your skills on the mat and boost your confidence in yourself and your abilities. So, go ahead, set those goals, and take action toward achieving them.

    Reason #4 - Overcoming Challenges Can Boost Confidence

    Motivation can be as elusive as a ninja in the night. One minute you're on fire, executing moves with precision; the next, you feel like a stale loaf of bread. But don't fret, my grappling friend, because there are ways to reignite that fire within you and stay motivated in your Jiu-Jitsu journey.

    A bjj practitioner sitting by a fire in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    First things first, make a plan. You may not have a crystal ball to predict the future, but you can always plan. Knowing where you want to go and how you plan to get there can help you stay focused and motivated.

    It's also important to remember that you're not alone. Every person in this world has low points. Asking for help and accepting support from others can make all the difference in keeping you on track.

    A group of bjj practitioners sitting by a fire in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    Another important factor in staying motivated is understanding your goals. Whether for fitness, competition or to make friends, your goals and how you approach them will differ. Celebrate your victories, big and small, and recognize when you've met and exceeded your goals.

    But beware of the comparison game. It's easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others, but that can sap your motivation like a thirsty vampire. Focus on your journey and avoid playing the comparison game.

    Lastly, don't rely on "fun" to keep you motivated. Jiu Jitsu can be fun, but it can also be challenging and frustrating. Embrace the challenges and remember that tough times often lead to the most growth. For example, an injury may be discouraging, but it can also allow you to work on your mental and strategic game.

    From injuries to not receiving an expected belt promotion, BJJ presents opportunities for derailment and chaos. By training your capabilities to persevere through difficulty, you'll build inner strength and self-confidence. Overcoming adversity will boost your confidence in yourself and your abilities in a lasting way.

    For some, developing social skills is a difficult challenge and BJJ helps foster this through its group training atmosphere. We discuss this in more detail here: Social Anxiety and BJJ (How To Overcome It!)

    Reason #5 - It Increases Self-Awareness

    Have you ever found yourself reacting to a situation without really understanding why? Maybe you snapped at a friend or colleague for no apparent reason. That's where self-awareness comes in.

    It's all about understanding your emotions, why you feel a certain way, and how you can manage your reactions. And guess what? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can help you boost your self-awareness. Practicing this martial art gives you practical skills that can give you confidence in any situation. That confidence boost can help you present yourself better to the world.

    A bjj practitioner facing a wall in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    Plus, when you're on the mat, you must be hyper-aware of your body and your opponent's movements. This focus on physical awareness can also translate to a better understanding of your emotional state. So, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can teach you how to defend yourself and help you become more self-aware and in tune with your emotions. 

    When you are training in BJJ, it's important to be aware of how your're feeling. Are you panicking in a certain position? Are you feeling tense and unable to move? By recognizing these feelings, you can learn to control them better. It's all about learning to accept and understand your emotions, rather than fighting them.

    Reason #6 - BJJ Fosters A Strong Support System

    We all need a support system at some point in our lives, whether to cheer us up when we're feeling down or lend a helping hand when we're in a tough spot. And Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can offer a unique opportunity to build an amazing support system. The community of BJJ practitioners is often close-knit and very supportive. From training partners who push you to new heights, to coaches who want you to succeed, everyone in the gym will become like family.

    Your BJJ team will be there for you through thick and thin. If you're having a rough day, chances are your teammates or coach will give you words of encouragement or provide tips on how to improve. They can also help with any questions about technique or nutrition that come up during your journey. 

    BJJ Team art

    In addition to offering practical advice, the community of BJJ practitioners can also serve as an emotional anchor when times get tough. Having a supportive group of friends to cheer you on and catch you when you fall is invaluable. So if you're looking for a community that will lift you up and is there during your highs and lows, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can offer just that.

    Reason #7 - BJJ Helps You Develop Problem-Solving Skills

    Developing problem-solving skills is essential in both personal and professional life. And Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a great tool to improve your problem-solving abilities. 

    BJJ practitioners learn how to identify their problem, whether it's an opponent's position or a submission attempt, and work to find a solution in real time.

    As BJJ guru John Danaher puts it, jiu-jitsu is "dynamic problem-solving." You must constantly adapt to your opponent's changing reactions and adjust your approach accordingly. This practice of analyzing and solving problems in real-time can translate to other aspects of life, such as work or relationships.

     Two bjj practitioners salving a puzzle in concept fantasy art by the ocean

    In BJJ, you learn to determine the root causes of the problem, find multiple solutions, and choose the one that will work best in the given situation. Planning and implementing the chosen solution is also a crucial step. 

    You can develop these problem-solving skills through regular BJJ practice and become more confident in handling unexpected situations in all aspects of life. Competence on the mats can create confidence off of it...

    Reason #8 - Facing Fears and Discomfort Through Jiu-Jitsu

    BJJ competitions can be nerve-wracking, but facing your fears and discomfort can help you become a better grappler. Some BJJ practitioners may fear combative situations and for good reason. However, by learning how to manage fear in a controlled environment, such as on the mats, you can become more confident and prepared for life's challenges.

    Many practitioners struggle with atychiphobia, the fear of failure, which can hinder their performance. However, redefining your view of failure and accepting it as a learning opportunity can shift your mindset and boost your self-esteem. It's important to focus on your talents and strengths, believe in yourself, and let yourself fail without letting negative thoughts consume you. 

    BJJ Practitioner meditating in concept art

    Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can also help calm your mind and body before a tournament. Lastly, remember to focus on your goals and take one step at a time. 

    You'll learn and improve with each competition, so embrace the challenges and push through your fears to become the best possible version of yourself. As Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that count."

    Reason #9 - It Teaches You How To Handle Failure

    Learning to handle failure can be a tough pill to swallow, but it's essential. Rather than fighting our feelings when we fail, permitting ourselves to feel them is important. Identifying and labeling the emotion is the first step, and then allowing ourselves time to experience it. Remember, failure is a part of everyone's life experience and is crucial to success.

    Related Article: Building Confidence On The Mats (And How It Applies To Life)

    In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, learning to fail is just as important as learning to pass the guard (which is saying something!). The concept is simple: go against your natural programming and do not be afraid to fail.

    Embrace it. Practically speaking, when someone submits you in a match, they "win" the round, and you "lose." But instead of dwelling on the loss, use it as an opportunity to learn. 

    Take note of how, when, where, and why your opponent was able to execute the submission. The same goes for escapes and attacks – intentionally put yourself in positions where you will fail, and use those failures as learning opportunities.

    The more critical you are about your success, the more you'll fail – but that's good. Every failure is a chance to learn, grow, and become better. So permit yourself to fail and embrace it. Who knows, you might find success on the other side.

    Final Thoughts

    One of the most incredible things about martial arts (and there are many!) is the confidence that it instills in its practitioners. From having the confidence of knowing that you can physically defend yourself to having the confidence to interact in social situations, martial arts training can profoundly change your life.

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is no exception. BJJ has so much to offer. So if you’re looking for a way to increase your confidence – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may be the answer for you. Give it a try and see how it can transform your life.

    Submission Shark BJJ Gear

    And feel free to read more Submission Shark articles to learn more about this life-changing sport. You can also shop for the best BJJ gear here. Thanks for reading, and until next time – Oss!

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    The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
    jiu jitsu gear BJJ apparel The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
    jiu jitsu gear BJJ apparel The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
    jiu jitsu gear BJJ apparel The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
    jiu jitsu gear BJJ apparel The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
    jiu jitsu gear BJJ apparel The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
    jiu jitsu gear BJJ apparel The Ice Breaker BJJ Gi (Limited Edition)
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