TOP HEALTH BENEFITS OF PRACTICING BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU
Written by Menswear Style in Sports on the 8th February 2021 / Top Health Benefits of Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Whether you’re thinking of learning a bit of grappling for self-defence, fitness, or competition, your body will surely thank you. Unlike many of the other forms of martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is predominantly performed from the ground. It exploits the angles and leverage of body parts to both escape or attack an opponent while applying pressure and timing to each movement. By practicing BJJ, you will not only learn how to choke, break limbs, and manipulate the joints of an assailant, but you will also reap many health benefits, which will be discussed here.
Flexibility and Mobility
Being a sport that requires the bending of limbs to submit your opponent, flexibility and mobility are very important. BJJ will put you in many uncomfortable situations, and the more flexible you are, and the more control you have over your muscles while being stretched, the better chance you have of escaping. BJJ will inevitably put your body in positions that it's not used to (knees pressed towards your shoulders or arm folded tight over your neck), which will naturally result in better flexibility and mobility. Moreover, elite sports all tend to require some level of flexibility and mobility for peak performance, but none of them will demand quite as much of these two as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. So make sure your gi allows for maximum range of motion.
Although jiu-jitsu is a ground-based sport, you will get just as much of an aerobic workout as any other sport. Grappling requires tremendous endurance and will have your heart pumping the whole time, hence a distinct enhancement in cardiovascular health. Research has shown numerous benefits of aerobic exercise on the body and mind, and you will certainly reap all of them if you train jiu-jitsu.
Grappling exert the body to its limits, and each day of training, you will push the physical boundaries of your body even further. This will tire you out, resulting in a calmer mind in the evening. Thus, it will help you fall asleep quicker and improve the quality of sleep you get each night. Research has shown that a consistent sleeping pattern assists the body in recovery, memory, and processing information. It also tends to decrease anxiety and depression while increasing your immunity.
Muscle Strength and Endurance
In this sport, you will be restrained with the object of the game being to escape and submit your opponent. The pushing and pulling required to sweep or bridle the other person will both lengthen the endurance of your muscles while strengthening them over time. Training in BJJ will also give you muscle in areas that many other sports won’t, such as the neck, fingers, and toes.
Not many people join this sport to improve their blood pressure. However, lowered blood pressure is a residual effect of aerobic exercise. Because of the need for strength, flexibility, and cardio used in grappling, your overall fitness will be on the upward climb, while your blood pressure will take a steep fall.
There are several areas of your mental health that learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu can support. The first one is the obvious effect of exercise. Breaking a sweat and working the muscle groups will cause your brain to release dopamine, a “happy” chemical that decreases stress and depression. When someone is holding you down and there is a threat of having tendons and ligaments stretched or even torn, it will force you to remain calm and think your way out of the situation. This will teach you how to control your emotions when there is both physical and mental pressure - a skill that can prove useful in any given situation. There’s another important fact to point out about practicing jiu-jitsu; learning a life skill has a tendency to boost self-esteem and confidence, not only will you learn a martial art, be able to compete, and gain a new community through the sport, but you will also learn how to protect yourself. Self-defence is an indispensable life skill that you hope to never have to use but would be infinitely grateful for in the case that you did. Having such expertise under your belt will absolutely nurture self-worth.
The physical and mental perks of jiu-jitsu are similar to those of any sport, but the satisfaction and boost in self-esteem are a unique aspect of learning self-defence. By training your mind and body to withstand and overcome dangerous situations, you will find a new zeal for life and healthy living. Remember to always pay attention to the details of each movement and to drill and review newly learned techniques as much as possible to commit them to memory.
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