So your a new wide-eyed white belt excited to start your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey at Garden State BJJ, let’s take a look at some of the physical and mental benefits you can expect in the next 30 days.
1) Sharper memory and thinking.
BJJ is sometimes referred to as a game of human chess due to the level of strategy involved. As a white belt, jiu jitsu is like playing chess with only pawns. As you progress and learn more techniques and more importantly, sharpen up the techniques you already know, you begin to acquire more “pieces” with which to play the game. The goal, of course, is to eventually acquire a complete set of pieces. While solving a human puzzle everytime you step on the mat certainly helps increase brain function the physical effects also have the effect of encouraging brain development. High cardio workouts like a typical BJJ class have been shown to produce high levels of endorphins, the same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
Physically, BJJ is a very demanding sport. After practicing regularly for one month you will notice your body composition starts to change. The intense effort done in sparring will make you lose huge amounts of fat and fast, cutting 500 calories a day through exercise will help you drop up to one pound a week. You will start to have increased endurance and strength as well as higher energy during the day. High intensity exercise being the best method to burn fat and change your body composition. BJJ is a sport that will give you a complete workout. You will work all your muscles, your heart and your lungs. You will also feel your muscles aching, your skin toughening, your fingers getting stronger all while your body starts to adapt to the sport. One great example of a beginner who changed his life after starting BJJ, is TV chef Anthony Bourdain. The 58 year old of CNN’s Parts Unknown started training because of his wife Ottavia who is a purple belt BJJ competitor. She trains twice a day. She convinced him to start training at Renzo Gracie academy in New York. “I’m easily in the best shape of my life. I’m not drinking anywhere near what I used to and I’m much moderate in my eating habits — because you really pay a price for misbehaviour immediately on the mat. You feel it and you pay a price in physical pain and humiliation.”- Bourdain about the change
When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, Jiu Jitsu can help you cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviors that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Regular exercise (like attending class at Garden State BJJ 3 times a week) can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress. Mentally, your confidence will go through the roof, a confidence that will make you believe you can handle anything that is thrown at you, be it an agressor, a deadline at your job, or any challenge you face. This is what changes lives. You start seeing life through Jiu-Jitsu eyes. Often, this change goes unnoticed for a while.. BJJ helps with this by putting you in tough positions, positions where you have to make a decision in a split second. Those decisions might cost you the match or might win you the match. It’s the type of pressure that develops character and personality. The practice of Muay Thai builds outstanding strength, stamina, and discipline.
4) Higher self-esteem.
Attending BJJ class is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habitual, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You’ll feel better about your appearance and, by meeting even small goals like not getting mounted or getting back to guard, you’ll feel a sense of achievement. There’s a balance to self esteem that one should understand, if they have too little it can lead to an isolated, fearful, and unhappy life. However, if they have too much it can turn them into a cocky, obnoxious person who no one wants to be around. BJJ is a quick mediator to this balance. Everyone wins and losses on the mats so this teaches you that it’s your actions that prove your value, not what others think of you.
The first 30 days of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Garden State BJJ in Red Bank NJ will have you seeing results immediately but the 4 above are only a small number of the many changes you’ll see throughout your Jiu Jitsu journey.