In all my advertising lately I’ve been calling Jiu-Jitsu a “Life-Changing” martial art. Some people probably assume that’s just a gimmick I use to try to drum up business. But it’s not. I really believe that training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can and will change lives for the better!
Here are my Top 3 Ways Jiu-Jitsu Will Change Your Life:
#1: REALIZE YOU HAVE POTENTIAL BEYOND WHAT YOU THOUGHT!
As part of my academy, we have an instructor training course. Entrance into this 2-year intensive program is not automatic and those that
Here is a 7 year old boy who, because of jiu-jitsu, is beginning to realize he’s a damn good kid! He’s coming into his own and becoming comfortable in his skin. He’s beginning to understand that he has untapped potential and wants to understand it. This is something many grown adults never realize or even begin to challenge in themselves. This is the mindset of a champion and it’s the mindset of someone who will come out ahead in life. Development of that mindset is life-changing! want to participate must write a letter describing why they want to be in the course and how Jiu-Jitsu has helped them. People write many different things and always have a slightly different take. But nothing has struck me quite as powerfully as the words of a 7 year old boy who wrote, “I’ve learned some great things about me that ALREADY do! I have discipline and inegrity….I want to be in class with the best students in the academy!”
#2: FACE YOUR FEARS AND CONQUER THEM
There’s no two ways about it. You will be uncomfortable alot during your jiu-jitsu training. One of my young female students was training an escape the other day. She looked up at me and said, “This position is so scary. It feels like you can’t breathe and you’re being crushed.” I just looked at her and said, “That’s right! But how cool is it that you don’t need to be afraid of it? You know how to escape it and how to overcome it. There’s alot of things in life that are scary like this, but there you will always be able to over come them if you keep your mind calm and look for the right way to handle them.”
And this is true. Jiu-Jitsu, in many ways, is about learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. You learn how to face those things that bother you and dissect them. What is your fear? Do you have trouble confronting others? Is it hard for you to speak in public? Perhaps you have a fear of heights! Jiu-Jitsu can help you master these things. You’ll realize that fear is nothing more than an illusion put there by your mind. Jiu-Jitsu can teach you to embrace those things you fear if you allow it!
#3: BECOME THE MASTER OF YOUR EGO
If you train Jiu-Jitsu for any length of time you’ll hear the word “ego” thrown around alot. There are very few methods of training on Earth that are more real and alive than Jiu-Jitsu. When you roll someone and you’re trying to win…you will either submit them, or they will submit you. You either won or you did not win. This is a difficult thing for a person to accept. It’s an assault on our most primal instinct…the instinct to survive. Losing a match that you really wanted to win is, in many ways, telling your ego that you would not have survived the encounter; you died! If you let it, this will mess you up and prevent you from ever gaining any skill in the art.
The fist few months in jiu-jitsu can be especially taxing mentally and physically as you lose match after match after match. The matches you do win, you realize were give to you by someone. Over time, however, you realize you don’t have to win every match…as long as you learn something with each loss. You learn a different way of moving here and there, a different defense for this and that, a new attack for this position… Before you know it, you’ve been training for ten years and you are winning alot more than you’re losing. And when you lose, you are more interested in learning how you lost and how to prevent it than you are anything else.
Carlos Gracie Sr. is famous for having said, “In Jiu-Jitsu, you either win or you learn!” This is true. As you learn to tame the ego, to allow yourself into bad positions, you will learn far more than a win can ever teach you. In training with some very exceptional jiu-jitsu people I’ve seen this over and over and over. They allow people to put them in difficult situations, just to see how they can escape and overcome the obstacle.
These three points are just a few of hundreds that could be made! I’d like to hear how jiu-jitsu has changed your life. Leave a comment and let me know!
Bill Jones is an Army combat veteran with over 30 years of martial arts experience. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Master Pedro Sauer and the owner of Top Level Martial Arts in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.