Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Top 5 Reasons To Train Jiu-Jitsu

I've trained in various forms, systems, "styles", and cultures of martial arts since I was eight years of age. Why? Because I was bullied a lot. End of long sad story there, LOL! :) No seriously, it makes my wife upset when she hears me talking about it. The GOOD NEWS, however, is that by being beat up a bunch when I was all small and young, combined with me learning martial arts taught me how to stand up to bullies... and, even better, how to embarass them without lifting a finger to violence - defeating them with their own insecurities.

In effect, martial arts taught me the value of being able to discern the volatility of situations such that I can choose the wisest course.

But, I digress!

This Martial Arts Musings post is about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and my Top 5 Reasons of why you should train in it! If you interesting in other musing posts, Click HERE!

So, without further ado...!!!!!

My Top 5 Reasons To Train Jiu-Jitsu

1) Honesty. Honest to yourself, to your training partners, to the people who depend on your "skills" to defend their safety, if not lives... honesty. What do I mean by this? Well, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), it is a rare thing to be able to hide behind one's rank and/or experience. However, in many other systems of martial arts, such is most definitely the case. Many high level ranks from a variety of systems aren't compelled, pressured, obligated, or even worthy of considering a full-force-sparring-match with a lower ranked practitioner. You are protected by forms, drills, and formality. In BJJ, if you're a purple belt, brown belt, or black belt... it isn't because you spent a summer in some advanced, accelerated program. It isn't just because you're the most senior student in some secret style and learned the final forms. It is because you've spent literally thousands of hours on the mat, rolling, training, grinding, and getting grinded... toughing it out when it hurt too much, holding out when your eyes were popping out, and getting up in the morning to train more when you could barely move. It wasn't because you put in the dollars; it's because you put in the hard, honest work to become better. In fact, not only did you work hard, you proved it on the mat... over and over and over again... with hundreds of taps from the dozens and dozens of techniques you've perfected over the many years. Be honest. Reason number one.

2) It is one hell of a workout. Many of you know me as the kettlebell guy. Fair statement! And, many of you know that kettlebell workouts can be one of the most grueling experiences - pushing heart rate response and other exertional factors to the safest of extremes. I can tell you for a fact, the drills, movements, and core strength required for BJJ is incredible. Moreover, the sparring can ramp up your exertional response just as well as anything else -- in fact, if you've never tried it, just ask your local BJJ academy for a look-see and roll with a brand new blue belt for 5 minutes. I guarantee you, those will be the longest 5 minutes of your life and you would have felt like you've wrestled a bear for 5 hours, much less 5 minutes afterwards.

3) Sparring-Application Congruency. In BJJ, the sparring is the combat application. What is more, you can effectively train with a partner at basically 90+% of intended strength nearly all the time without hurting yourself or your training partner. This is something that you really can't do in most other martial arts - certainly not boxing, muay thai, or other striking forms. Do that for too many sessions and you won't have many partners left... in fact, you probably wouldn't have much left to yourself if you sparred at even 75% of those striking systems. This is where BJJ (and other grappling systems) really take off; the applicability is practiced in full form nearly every training session. You can't really do that with many other of the arts without causing hurt or harm.

4) It's effective! There's nothing like watching a jiu-jitsu practitioner run a clinic on a less skilled opponent... it almost looks like a demo, even if the match is done in full force. BJJ takes advantage of natural body handles, mechanics, and anatomy in a way where your strongest elements attack the weakest facets of your opponent. Additionally, we've seen BJJ work in various scenarios. Surely, it doesn't apply in a mass effect, however, there were some fairly interesting "team" style ultimate fighting tournaments. What one quickly noticed was that the team which really knew how to get up from the ground game were able to help their teammates out to gang up on others who were taken down. This leads to reason #5.

5) BJJ Develops Mental Toughness For The Worst Scenarios. BJJ gets you used to becoming comfortable, skilled, and tactical (both physically and mentally) in the worst and most uncomfortable positions. Having people on top of you, controlling your body... even your ability to breathe. Such training is a toughness one can rely upon in moments of truth. We hear it all the time; people fall back on their level of training -- rarely in combat do people "rise to the occasion." BJJ teaches you how to keep composed during the worst situations and to solve your way out of it.

So there it is! My Top 5 Reasons To Train Jiu-Jitsu. Did I miss any tops for you? Please share!

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