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5 Health Benefits of Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu….

It’s New Year’s Resolution time and many people look for an activity to become healthier. Some will consider martial arts as an option. One of the fastest growing martial arts in the world is Gracie Jiu-jitsu (also known as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or simply BJJ). When most people think of BJJ they think of a highly effective system of self defense as a major benefit of training. But there are many other reasons to train that are not always as obvious to people that have yet to step on the mat and experience all that makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a positive and life changing martial art.

  1. It’s a great way to get in shape: Unlike mindless activities such as jogging on a treadmill, BJJ will get you in better shape than you could ever imagine and it is also mentally challenging. Studies have shown that wrestling/grappling type workouts tend to burn more calories then anything else and it’s typically much more fun! BJJ practitioners are known for having great cardio, functional strength, flexibility and superior mental fortitude.
  2. Stress Reliever: Many people that train in BJJ will often make the comment that training in BJJ reduces their stress levels. That when they are on the mat they tend to set their personal problems aside and focus on training. I’ve heard people jokingly refer to BJJ as the cheapest form of therapy they have ever found. Many of my students have stressful jobs in public safety, armed forces and other high demand careers. They frequently credit the BJJ lifestyle as a major stress reducer that offers them an outlet for built up anxiety.
  3. Comradery: A person’s health and happiness are often closely related and what better way to feel happy and fulfillment in life then when you have a sense of belonging. To feel part of a team and a group of people all working towards similar goals is an amazing experience. Most BJJ academies have a great family type atmosphere and many members become close friends both on and off the mat. It always amazes me how many different types of people from very diverse backgrounds end up meeting each other on the mats and becoming friends. People, that under normal circumstances may have never become friends with one another.
  4. Self Protection Skills: As mentioned in the opening paragraph, BJJ is a highly effective form of self defense. While no level of training can completely eliminate the possibility of becoming a victim, possessing realistic and quality self protection skills can significantly reduce that chance. It’s kind of like knowing how to swim, it doesn’t mean you can’t drown but without knowing how to swim you will definitely drown if you fall in over your head. Having these skills give people a certain peace of mind in many situations that others without self defense skills don’t have access to.
  5. BJJ Lifestyle: Training in BJJ typically places you in a positive environment where the people that surround you are usually involved in healthy lifestyles and that can rub off on you. My grandparents always said, you are who you hang around with. Being around positive people doing positive things can have great effect on you and your choices.

There are many other benefits of training in BJJ and by no means is this a complete list. These benefits will only be possible if you educate yourself on what a good academy atmosphere should be prior to committing to a school. Unfortunately there are bad academies out there that may not have an environment that fosters the benefits mentioned in this article. Thankfully most schools are great! The first step is walking in the dojo and giving BJJ a chance. Don’t look for a New Year’s resolution, find your passion…if not there’s always the treadmill…Rob Magao, Pedro Sauer Black Belt

For more information about our academy look for us on the web at www.manchesterbjj.com

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