- Mentally stimulating. BJJ is like physical combat mixed with chess. There are thousands of techniques, with counters to each technique. It’s a great sport/martial art for those who like to think while getting a good workout.
- Physical exercise. BJJ is a great workout. I personally know at least two close friends from BJJ who have lost large amounts of excess weight since they started training.
- You learn useful restraining techniques and submissions. I didn’t start to learn BJJ for self-defence reasons, but I’ve still learned many ways to physically restrain someone and submit them if need be.
- Competitive opportunities. In each training session you’ll likely be able to roll (spar) with opponents, giving you a chance to try to apply techniques against an unwilling opponent who will fight you every step of the way. There are also multiple competitions every month if you want to pit your skills against opponents from other gyms.
- Reduces your ego. I have been tapped out and put to sleep countless times in BJJ, by both advanced students and by smaller and less experienced opponents. Each time you feel humbled and grounded.
- Teaches you the benefit of doing hard things. BJJ is tough on the body and tough on the mind. You could be injured or exhausted and still be glad you rolled because you learned at least one new thing. BJJ taught me an important lesson that difficult things in life build character, resilience and fear or anger only complicate the struggle. I look forward to training because I know afterwards I’ll be a bit more prepared the next time I compete, and I’ll feel mentally refreshed after training. It also turns down the volume of ‘stressful’ situations at work or home life when you survive getting choked out by a tough advanced student.
- New friends and mentors. I’ve met many new friends over the years. As you’ll learn much more in 10 minutes of rolling with someone than you ever can in a 10 minute conversation.
- Difficult learning curve. I sucked at BJJ badly when I started (everyone does), and you can become disillusioned after tapping out repetitively when you start. There are a large number of positions and techniques and it can be overwhelming for a newbie. A good teacher like mine will put things into perspective so this passes eventually.
- No striking. BJJ does not include kicks or punches. If you are interested in this, consider a good MMA gym. An MMA gym will provide training in both striking and grappling. Our academy has a combat Jiu Jitsu, that teaches basics of Thai kickboxing and boxing classes, and MMA classes to merge all disciplines but is still very grappling focused.
- Requires commitment to get better.I personally have found that BJJ is not a martial art/sport for someone looking to practice it once a week. Like most learning pursuits, you generally get better the more you practice.
- Physical injuries are common. In my 16 years of regular training I’ve gotten a number of non-serious injuries including: stubbed toes and fingers; but my tongue (because I forgot my mouth guard), pulled muscles in my rib, back and groin; rolled ankles; sore joints after particularly nasty joint locks; minor black eyes and numerous bruises and cuts.
- Possibility of other physical conditions like ringworm and staph.Ringworm is a common fungal infection which affects BJJ practitioners. It’s annoying and contagious, but in my experience it has been harmless and easy to get rid of. I also use a tea tree oil soap or dandruff shampoo as a body wash to help protect against it. Staph is a more serious infection and requires immediate medical attention but in all my years I only got it once and was uncomfortable (like a big pimple) but was gone in a few days after antibiotics.
But anything worth anything takes sacrifice but I promise this lemon 🍋 is worth the squeeze 🤙🏽🙏🏽