Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Jiu Jitsu is a martial art designed to give us the tools to defend ourselves against a larger aggressor. It is physically and cognitively demanding, and is more rewarding than any individual endeavor I have ever pursued. I believe that most people can benefit greatly from the sincere study of this art in myraid ways.
For now, let’s look at the top 3 reasons you should learn self-defense:
We fear what we do not understand. We will find comfort (Latin for “with strength”) to the degree that we can illuminate our ignorance.
An average blue belt has the skills to defend themselves against most assailants of comparable size and age. In short time, Jiu Jitsu gives the practitioner the tools to safely navigate most self-defense situations. The majority of fights end up on the ground, which is precisely where the Jiu Jitsu practitioner excels. Using takedowns to bring the fight to the ground and minimize variables, the Jiu Jitsu student uses leverage, timing, and body position to safely subdue their attacker.
Competency breeds confidence. We all walk a little taller, with some extra Serotonin flowing through our veins, when we know we are not made of glass.
Jiu Jitsu is physically demanding. To move an individual where he does not want to go, and has been trained to prevent himself from going, requires physical conditioning. The training of Jiu Jitsu improves our flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. All of the benefits that we seek at the gym can be found on the mat, and we learn a worthwhile skill in a community of supportive teammates while doing so.
I always try to consider my life choices in the context of the time horizon of the game I am playing.
I want to live for as long as I am able while still enjoying this beautiful planet. To live into my 90s or even beyond 100, I will have to be a sincere steward of my health. I love exercise, but a man can only pick up a dumbbell or stand on a treadmill so many times.
Jiu Jitsu gives us all the benefits of the gym without the monotony of the treadmill. It’s an art I will be excited to practice for the rest of my life, which means I will be excited to “go to the gym” for the rest of my life.
I am grateful that Jiu Jitsu has allowed me to tend to my health through love rather than discipline.
#3- Because it’s Fun
I love Jiu Jitsu. It is an infinite problem which cannot be solved. It’s layered complexity allows for countless paths through the art. The fun is finding one which works for you: cultivating a game that is unique to your disposition and physical abilities, in which you express yourself through this medium.
I am grateful that at 31 years old, Jiu Jitsu allows me to still engage in play, something many of us left behind in childhood. As Ursala Le Guin said,
“The creative adult is the child who survived.”
Whenever I get too caught up in the responsibilities of adulthood, a long training session with a dear friend immediately recalibrates my being. It’s more powerful than any medicine and more enjoyable than any other activity I have experienced.
Jiu Jitsu gives us the tools to defend ourselves and those we love, produces all of the benefits of the gym without the treadmill, and allows us to play no matter our age. We should all learn Jiu Jitsu as a tool for self-defense, but defending ourselves is only one of the countless benefits that Jiu Jitsu has to offer.
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