Why Train BJJ?
by Alliance Jiu-Jitsu DFW – Martial Arts & Fitness
Why Train BJJ? Benefit #3: Calm Under Pressure
Photo Credit: Snow MMA (Alliance black belt Samuel Snow, top)
In this third article of our series discussing the reasons why we train BJJ, we take a look at how Brazilian jiu-jitsu can teach us to stay calm under pressure, both on the mats and in daily life.
We all have moments of intense stress. Terrible morning traffic, a tight deadline at work, anxiety about a family issue, or when a teammate is applying an effective choke in jiu-jitsu class. Staying calm in stressful situations takes practice, but it’s something that can be learned. When you apply stress reduction techniques that you’ve learned while training in combat sports, it offers many benefits to your daily life.
One of the earliest lessons we are taught in the best jiu-jitsu classes is to remember to breathe while training. Amidst the blur of full-throttle sparring, if we control our breathing, we also control our natural responses to stress. We think more clearly, we maintain better control of our emotions, we keep our blood pressure from skyrocketing. Imagine the benefits of applying the breathing techniques you practice in jiu-jitsu to your workday, your family life, and the quality of your free time.
In a combat sports workout, you’re teaching your brain to stay focused in the moment – the moment that’s dripping sweat on your face and pressing a knee into your ribcage. It’s impossible to worry about a deadline at work or the conflict you’re having with your neighbor when someone’s trying to bend your arm the wrong way. Jiu-jitsu classes teach us to not dwell on the past or worry about the future. We develop the excellent habit of taking life one moment at a time, as it comes.
BJJ also helps us learn that when life presents unexpected twists and turns, we can navigate the situation calmly. Our opposition presents an attack, but we know what to do next. In our jiu-jitsu self-defense training, we’ve drilled the options hundreds of times in class. We have answers and options to the problems presented, which helps keep us calm, in control, and confident.
Practicing jiu-jitsu helps us apply technique and act with precision. We learn that when we’re under pressure, we can work our way out of difficult situations. And knowing this is an invaluable benefit in real life. When we train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we have survived (simulated) near-death experiences over and over again. We can even inflict a fair share of “simulations” ourselves! So how much less stressful is dealing with a long wait at the doctor’s office, or a rude driver, or toxic colleagues who are trying to throw you under the bus in front of your boss? Those situations are practically laughable – just a few pixels on the Screen of You – because you’ve already handled much worse in BJJ and survived it.
The holy grail of jiu jitsu is how it changes us to make life better as a whole. The skills learned and the experiences we have on the mats build humility and confidence and success over time. Learning to stay calm under pressure – first on the mats and then applying it throughout our lives – is one of the greatest benefits of training the Gentle Art over the long-term.
We discuss more benefits of training Brazilian jiu jitsu in other articles.
Has practicing the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helped you remain calm under pressure in your life off the mats? Think how life could change for someone who has never trained if they learned to stay calm under pressure.
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