Introducing yourself to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ further) takes a little time. It is a martial art designed to defend the person using the technique against a larger assailant through the use of hand-to-hand combat.
Many of you who are considering taking on this craft may have heard that there is more to BJJ than it meets the eye. It’s far from just a technique, a way to engage in physical combat. It delivers on so many more levels. Your mental fortitude will be challenged, your perception of yourself and your surroundings will come from a different perspective.
BJJ offers a lifestyle brimming with passion and challenges. Ones that choose such a path will find struggles, but if they overcome them the rewards are plentiful. I will go through some aspects of the BJJ culture in general, from the philosophy and mental to the combat and the physical.
As with most feats of physical nature, improving yourself in BJJ will grow your confidence to previously unknown levels. Why this is many speculate, but it’s mostly because BJJ puts you in spots where you cannot do what you prefer, but rather what you must in order to escape the position you’re in.
Constructing fast-paced scenarios in your mind – figuring out ways to figure out which technique is optimal, how to move from one stance to another, how to escape the clutches of your opponent or even allowing your opponent to take control of the fight in order for you to have the upper-hand later on, are all just part of the entire experience that is BJJ.
Develop your special awareness
BJJ demands out of you to constantly mind your surroundings. Every time you take a back or a front flip you’ll be in danger of getting punished if you disregarded any of the following factors.
The most important one is yourself. Knowing how much effort can you handle, what is your sense of tiredness and keeping your mind focused is the most important step. Next comes in the opponent and his distance away from you. With that information, you can find angles and timings that can work in your favor. Lastly, the context such as is your opponent tired, is he worn down? Is he compromising his dominant hand or leg?
Attention to such detail can be the difference between a win and a loss, but more importantly, if you apply such standards to your daily life, it is without a doubt that you will be looking at your world with a fresh pair of eyes.
The vibrant lifestyle
Living the lifestyle of anything has become a pretty mundane thing in today’s time. Everyone and everything is becoming unique in a certain way. The uniqueness of the BJJ lifestyle is that it connects people with completely different paths and choices into a group of friends. The mutual passion towards the craft can be seen in the way we see the world, talk to each other, behave towards others, etc.
Essentially the lifestyle is a reflection of your BJJ training, a combination of everything you need to win a match applied to the real world. Nothing violent of course, but rather using your intuition, wits and confidence in real life settings, succeeding where you wish.
Respecting the principles
My final point will be the most interesting one. Before writing this article, I’ve had a chat with the guys from Brazilian jiu jitsu Sydney team and we came to a conclusion that BJJ sends an important message to everyone on how they can live their lives. These are just a couple of principles one should use when practicing BJJ, both recreationally and professionally.
Favor technique over raw strength. BJJ teachers generally put a high emphasis on technique. The reason for this is that in BJJ a person with a 30 or 40 kg deficit can still prevail only due to using the right technique at the right time. Same thing can be applied in real life. You can be calculative, charming and alluring instead of just brute forcing yourself into solutions. It’s surprising how much one can achieve with composure.
Take problems head-on. When in an unfavorable position, handle your problem with resolve. Issues may stack up in BJJ much like in life. It’s always best to face your problems rather than tuck them under the rug.
Develop strategies to overcome complications. Like a game of chess, BJJ requires you to develop your further actions a couple of steps ahead. Experience is key here, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you encounter an “undefeatable opponent”. In time you will discover new ways to approach the encounter, finding nooks and crannies in your opponents’ technique allowing you to take the upper hand.
Developing character and new skills is often a challenging task, requiring dedication. Most of us already have a professional career and having such an active pastime is a privilege, rather than just a time sink. Therefore, even though BJJ offers a lot to you, it also demands a great deal. Still, the feeling of satisfaction after a good practice session is hardly comparable to our mundane day-to-day.
Activating your body, mind and spirit at the same time is the healthiest way to address your body as a whole. Therefore if you feel like you can handle it and you are looking forwards to the things mentioned above, BJJ is definitely something you should look into.