Top 5 Reasons Women Should Study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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Some people may think that jiu jitsu is a "man thing" but that is NOT true at all. In fact, there is a growing number of women who are now finding that jiu jitsu training is one of the best things a woman can do. 

Here are five good reasons why every woman should train in jiu jitsu.

Jiu Jitsu trains you in practical self-defense 

A conservative estimate has it that one in six women have been sexually assaulted. It is imperative that women be able to defend themselves in the event of an attack. Without training, we rely solely on the fight or flight instinct to get us out of the situation.

Studies have shown that those who prepare for worst case scenarios, thinking through possible outcomes and practicing action, will be much more likely to act and not freeze up when the actual event occurs.

Jiu jitsu teaches you to be aware of the situation and teaches you ways to disable attackers. The grappling that occurs in jiu jitsu resembles the likely scenario for an actual real-life attack, where a struggle might ensue on the ground. You begin sitting or lying down, with your opponent standing or kneeling over you.

What is more, jiu jitsu is designed for weaker, smaller opponents to be able to dominate larger, stronger ones using technique. Holds, joint locks, chokes, and throws are learned and practiced over and over.

There is great peace of mind that comes from taking steps to defend yourself.

Jiu Jitsu is an incredible stress reliever

We live in a sped up, over-scheduled society. Taking time to exercise releases endorphins in the body that restore a relaxed feeling of well-being that our ancestors probably had much more often, as they led slower, yet more physical lives.

You will find yourself looking forward to that hour on the mat, when you are so focused on the opponent in front of you that you can’t worry about work or family, and your mind is given a much-needed rest from the stress cycle as your body releases the cares of the day.

Taking time to condition the body truly calms and centers the mind, helping you to put life’s challenges in perspective and sleep better at night.

Jiu Jitsu teaches genuine self-respect

As you learn the techniques of jiu jitsu, you will be amazed at what your body can do. This type of respect for the body for what it can do, rather than for its outward appearance, carries over into an overall confidence in yourself that is deeper and more constant than a number on a scale.

As you grow in self-respect, this can have a tremendous impact on relationships with coworkers, spouses, and children. Confidence cannot be willed into being, it must be earned, and Jiu jitsu gives you the opportunity to grow in virtues that will increase your self-worth.

It teaches patience, as everyone starts with zero skills, and it takes time to learn the techniques. It teaches courage, as it is out of most of our comfort zones to engage in this type of physical combat, and yet as you learn, you grow comfortable using the techniques.

At the same time, it teaches humility, because as long as you train in it, there will always be more to learn and someone better than you. The more you learn, the more you will be humbled by what your own body can do and by how powerful the art is. As muscles grow with resistance and strain, character grows with facing adversity and challenges.

Jiu jitsu is training for handling life. The self-respect you will develop will make you a more peaceful, secure, and confident person.

Jiu Jitsu gets you into great physical and mental shape

Jiu Jitsu is an amazing full body workout! The warm-ups, drills and rolling will strengthen and tone your entire body. The techniques also improve agility, stability and balance.

At the same time, it is known as the “gentle art” because it encourages going with the opponent’s force, rather than striking against it. This technique can throw the opponent off-balance, using his own strength against him.

This makes it ideal training for women, who may need to fend off a much larger attacker. A built in safety net in jiu jitsu, as opposed to many other martial arts, is that at any time, you or your partner can tap out, showing submission, if the position is uncomfortable.

There is also a strong mental component to jiu jitsu. You must anticipate your partner’s moves and plan your own, adapting to unpredictable turns in the match. In this way, gradually, over time, you can train your mind in quick thinking and planning ahead, as you get your body into top physical form.

Jiu Jitsu is a fun way to relax and make friends

Let’s face it, the older we get, the harder it gets to make new friends. It is hard to push beyond the barrier of polite small talk to find genuine common interests.

Jiu jitsu is an instant bond, a common language that goes beyond small talk. Sparring is fun, an ultimate ice-breaker that gets you out of yourself. Part of that fun comes from its creative and unpredictable path. You never know where you’ll end up when you begin! But even more, your partners will become friends, as you pursue the common goal of learning the art.

 The best friends are those you learn from and who can, in turn, learn from you; they are friendships built on respect. This is how grappling in jiu jitsu works. The first class, someone shows you how to tie your belt, and the second class, you show someone else how to do it. As you roll on the mat, you will learn techniques from your partners, and you will teach these techniques to other partners. Friendship is built into jiu jitsu because the only way to succeed is with the help of your training partners.

This is one reason that many families train together. The bonds of trust between family members are strengthened through the process, as mutual respect grows!

Related Article: Jiu Jitsu Houston: The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.