Written by Brian Shotton
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, is a “grappling” martial art. While there are many standing techniques, it is primarily a ground-based system. It uses leverage and pressure to control your opponent. Once they are controlled, BJJ utilizes the application of chokes and joint locks to compel them to tap or submit.
The House of Martial Arts BJJ program is systematic. The foundations class for beginners focuses on self-defense and introductory principles. We don’t throw new students into the deep water with the sharks; we train you to swim through detailed, hands-on instruction and drills that help every student understand and learn. The advanced class focuses on a positioned based curriculum with drills and advanced belt concepts followed by lots of mat time and peer-based troubleshooting.
- Self Defense: Jiu jitsu means “gentle art” though most beginners think it is misnamed. First and foremost, BJJ was designed to train you to defend yourself against an attack and HMA believes this is still the most important thing any student of Brazilian jiu-jitsu can learn. BJJ teaches you how to control larger opponents, defend yourself on the ground, and make space to escape the confrontation. Unlike many other martial arts that simulate violence through forms and sparring, BJJ’s training is the real deal. The practice and the execution are the same. This alone gives BJJ practitioners confidence in their self-defense.
- Conquer Fear: Because BJJ training is so realistic, you get exposed to many different emotions: fear, anger, and anxiety…but also pride, confidence, and courage. Every time you train, you are challenged mentally and physically which makes you stronger. You learn to accept success and failure equally and move on. There has never been one person who has learned Brazilian jiu-jitsu and not been submitted. The first time you control someone or sweep to a top position or see a submission for the first time, you gain confidence. And when you’re more confident you’re less afraid.
- Better Physical Fitness: Brazilian jiu-jitsu will make you more fit. It works for everyone, regardless of shape or size. Grappling is physically demanding but the training instills the required strength and flexibility. No one begins knowing how to move or with an inherent physical advantage. The bigger and stronger struggle as much, if not more, than the smaller and timid. BJJ is about relaxing and using techniques, not about size and muscles. Simply put, Brazilian jiu-jitsu gets you in Brazilian jiu-jitsu shape. Classes are physically rigorous. BJJ involves a balanced workout, including aerobic activity and strength building. You’ll often leave exhausted physically and mentally, so if you tend to struggle with sleeping at night, BJJ just might be the answer.
- Better Mental Wellness: Brazilian jiu-jitsu is often compared to chess in that every technique has a countermove. As you advance and get better, you’ll begin to think two and even three moves ahead. It is odd to think a martial art so physically demanding is so dependent upon mental development. BJJ is a lot more about your ability to mentally see than physically do. Being able to predict and respond eliminates stress and tension. Suddenly, you’re not getting so angry. You’re not out of control. You become a more agile thinker and the balance you gain greatly improves your mental health.
- Understand Your Limits: More than anything perhaps, BJJ teaches situation aweness. You know what you can do and what you can’t. It isn’t a guess, but a knowing built upon the testing of your body and mind, because Brazilian jiu-jitsu puts you in uncomfortable places and teaches you how to endure and even overcome. It can be overstated—knowing your limits gives you courage, grit, and inner peace. For that reason alone, you should try it.
The House of Martial Arts in Carmel has an excellent Brazilian jiu-jitsu program. Whether you are a novice or have been studying BJJ for years, we have classes that can help you. If you’d like to learn more about HMA’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu program, [click here] or sign up for a free trial today!