Having Fun While Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Most martial artists tend to come across as intense, but did you know they also have fun? All too often, fun is a key element missing from many forms of fitness, not just martial arts. Few styles are as fun as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and that is a fact.
Anything that resembles wrestling is a throwback to play fighting as a child. BJJ fits that image perfectly. However, now, as an adult, you get to add a layer of strategy. No matter how old and tired you may feel after a match or a class, you get to feel young again.
Kids need to release energy; it is as essential for their parents, as it is for them. The beauty of BJJ is that both parents and kids alike can experience that release. The glorious rush of endorphins is to be enjoyed by all. Best of all, there seems to be no expiration date on all this fun. There are plenty of students who roll well into their seventies.
To play is to learn. Martial arts mastery is achieved through sparring, experimenting with partners. Add the joy of discovery to a post-workout high and there is nothing like it.
Think about your daily life. How often do you get to impose your will? The sense of satisfaction that comes from dominating your opponent is like no other feeling. Who doesn’t like to win? Yet, to win in a test of physical strength, creates a confidence that carries over into everything you do. To maneuver, subdue and overpower another human being is primal.
Daily life may be disappointing when it comes to imposing your will, but it is a struggle, nonetheless. How many moments have had you wishing you could tap out? Well, there will be plenty of that in BJJ. However, you do eventually see results. Your defense gets better. Your offense improves, and suddenly you are on the other end of a submission. Life may kick your butt when an upper belt does it, it is easier to see incremental progress.
There is nothing like the atmosphere in excellent BJJ schools. They are relaxed, full of jokes from both students and instructors, and provide a strong sense of camaraderie. Fellow practitioners become brothers and sisters in arms.
Unlike certain other styles, you rarely encounter BJJ ‘McDojos’. McDojos are schools that cheapen martial arts in the name of making money. They promote a militaristic, often toxic, approach to these beautiful, ancient practices. Martial arts schools are not meant to be franchises.
For those who enjoy competitive sports, there is always a place for that in BJJ. Athletes never stop craving that exhilaration. To compete is to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, full of nerves, and face it over and over, until that anxiety becomes manageable, at the very least, and plain old fun the rest of the time.
Some folks enjoy problem-solving. Their cerebral approach lends itself well to BJJ. Martial arts, especially BJJ, involve plenty of strategy, like a puzzle or a board game. There is a reason, after all, why brute strength is not necessarily a requirement for proficiency.
Attending a martial class, at any given time, can include learning, exercise, stress management, leadership training, and so much more. Try going to a generic gym after years of practice. The repetition becomes excruciating, quite quickly. The idea is to escape the grind, not add to it.
Finally, human beings are social creatures, and you can do much worse than BJJ in pursuit of that kind of interaction. Few martial arts carry the same sense of community. BJJ attracts men and women from all walks of life and unites them under one purpose: having fun in pursuit of enlightenment.