To start, let’s be clear: everyone remembers the first time they choked someone. You sunk in a rear-naked, or grabbed the gi pants for a bow-and-arrow, and when you received that tap it was a private moment of glory. Of course, everyone remembers the first time they got choked, too: the grainy grey that accompanies the shutting down of a carotid, and the sore neck muscles the day after. Either way, we return for more.

Obviously, BJJ offers more than just the base adrenaline rush of a submission. They are a variety of benefits. Here are just a few of them.

Higher Self-Confidence

A by-product of most martial arts, self-confidence often soars for a practitioner. To the outsider, this can easily be equated to a feeling of physical superiority, and the ability to win a fight. While feeling confident enough to handle yourself in the event of a physical altercation is certainly a plus, self-confidence goes far beyond this brute interpretation. Self-confidence can come from a variety of areas, such as weight loss or mental toughness. For those that stick with the art, there are also rewards that come from stripes and new belts. Progressing in BJJ is a personal achievement that definitively contributes to this new-found confidence.

Superior Conditioning

Within martial arts, there is certainly a steep curve when it comes to conditioning. A part-timer’s stamina may not hold a candle to an active competitor’s. However, that part-timer is going to be in much better shape than your average man on the street. With BJJ sparring, it demands that practitioners be held to a much higher standard of conditioning. Really, we’d argue that there’s nothing more taxing than grappling a fellow human being.

Greater Heart Health

This benefit is directly related to conditioning. While it could be argued that greater heart health comes at the cost of other maladies such as joint pain, cauliflower ear, or nagging neck, knee, or back injuries, the overall advantage aerobic exercise provides can reduce health risks such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. In most cases, when you’re improving the ability of your heart to deliver oxygen to your muscles, that’s probably a good thing.

Valuable Camaraderie

The teammates you train with often become some of your closest friends. This begins with a bond born from a common interest, and continues with the blood, sweat, and tears that everyone leaves on the mat. But it also comes with having complete trust in your sparring partners. Honestly, your health and well-being is always in their hands, so you have to have faith that your tap means something, and that your limb or neck will be released. In what other capacity of your life must you trust someone this completely? We think you’d be hard-pressed to find something that compares to this level of faith.

Honestly, this is a list that could probably go on and on. And really, anyone who’s trained BJJ knows this. This is a post for the person who’s considering giving BJJ a whirl. Hopefully, these benefits will propel you to finally take action. Our mats are open, and we’ll be waiting. Yes, you’ll get choked. But you’ll learn to choke people, too. While it’s not the only benefit, it’s a benefit nonetheless.




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