5 Reasons Why Why YOU Should Do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu [Plus: BONUS reason]
Updated: Feb 23
If you're considering doing a martial art and Brazilian jiu-jitsu came up on the list, here are some reasons why you should do jiu-jitsu, especially as a woman!
Every person has their reasoning for picking up some kind of martial art. Maybe they grew up watching kung-fu movies and wanted to be Bruce Lee. Maybe their parents put them into Tae Kwon Do at a young age and they stuck with it for life. Martial arts have a way of finding its way into someone’s life when its need the most.
My Jiu-Jitsu Beginnings
For me, back in 2012, I felt an all-time low in my self-esteem. I felt that I was being stomped all over by my job and kicked around mentally by other aspects of my life. I felt that I needed to fight back against life and I wanted to do that by doing MMA.
I talked to a friend, who suggested that I start with jiu-jitsu, to grasp some of the harder aspects of grappling before striking
Although, I haven’t exactly started by MMA career (besides one amateur boxing match…which I lost. More on that in a later post), almost 7 years later, I haven’t turned back since and am enjoying the journey I’m on!
Me before and after starting jiu-jitsu
So, here are 5 reasons why I and why you should do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:
1. A sport for the little guy
Jiu-jitsu works for every body type, every size, men, women, children, even dogs . Although of course strength and speed are factors that people use during competitions and sport jiu-jitsu, many of the moves and positions use leverage to successfully do the move. Although I am quite strong, it makes me feel strong against men who are bigger and stronger than me.
2. Brazilian jiu-jitsu for fitness
Between the warm-ups, fast drills, rolling, and me coming into class late and having to do punishment exercises every time (which happens for me most mornings or at night if I don’t leave work right on time), jiu-jitsu keeps me pretty fit. Also, jiu-jitsu incorporates different aspects of fitness like strength, flexibility, and cardio. It also tests my mental fitness in learning to be calmed and focus.
3. A Family-like and welcoming atmosphere
Most of the jiu-jitsu gyms I’ve been to make sure you feel like the gym is your second home. When it comes to jiu-jitsu, it is a collective effort for everyone to improve. Everyone wants to help you with a move, and if you have a question, the coaches are always willing to take time to help you understand. When it comes to going out after the gym, you always have someone who up for eating, having a drink, or just talking. This is especially important in Shanghai, where it can be hard to make friends with so many people leaving and arriving to Shanghai.
4. A Challenge to your patience, ego, and more
Life always has its challenges. Jiu-jitsu always has it its challenges. Therefore, Jiu-jitsu = Life.
But it all seriousness, I like that it challenges me in many different aspects beyond physically. When I’m trying to go for a move or escape from a position when I’m trapped, it teaches me patience to actually get to my goal. It challenges me not to show my feelings and my frustrations during a roll. There are certain things that I have huge ego about my jiu-jitsu, and jiu-jitsu has a way of challenging your ego and humbling you real quick.
For example, since I’ve mostly rolled with men, I always thought I can dominate women in competition. I was humble in an open weight match back 2017, when I got arm-bared by a girl who was 56 kilos (123 pounds for my American peeps) when I was around 80 kilos (180 pounds). That really helped to change my mindset about how to approach all my opponents.
5. Build your confidence
Everyone says that doing any kind of martial art makes you feel more confident in yourself. Every time I walk down the street, especially in New York City or somewhere I’m unfamiliar, I don’t feel as scared because I know I can defend myself when I need to. It makes me feel that I can do really anything I set my mind to.
And, yes in the super corny way you probably read that.
6. Bonus Reason!
It’s like aggressive hugging/cuddles! Who doesn’t like hugging and cuddles?
Doing jiu-jitsu has put on a physical and grueling road, that tries me every day or the days I train (sometimes I’m not only my "train everyday vibes" and that’s okay too). But, because of the reasons I listed it’s something that I will stick with for life. If you were looking for a reason to try, or you weren’t sure what jiu-jitsu can do for you, I hope this list helps!
For those of you who found jiu-jitsu, what are some reasons you think people should do jiu-jitsu? Tell me in the comments or on my Instagram at @blackgirlwhitegi_bjj.