I can’t recommend jiu jitsu enough to people. Martial arts in general are fantastic for the mind, body, and soul; but here are the specific benefits of doing jiu jitsu which I have experienced in a short time:
• Your size, athleticism, gender, race, intelligence…do no matter. Each and every person starts at zero. If a 5 ft girl has been practicing for a year, and a 6 ft male football player just started, she beats him 100% of the time. The only way to get better is by putting in the time and effort.
• It is a perfectly visible, tangible, real-time example of the learning process.
- You start; terrified and clueless, aggressive and egotistic.
- You suck; flailing around like a chicken, losing to anybody and everybody. This happens for a while.
- You doubt; it feels like everyone else is getting better and you’ll never move an inch.
- You keep going; gaining momentum from small wins in class and asking questions. Everyone is kind and helpful to you because every higher belt was where you are now. Always remember that.
- You improve; one day, something clicks, or it’s someone else’s first day and you get to tap them because they’re clueless. You feel great but you don’t have an ego about it because you got destroyed thousands of times before this point. “The mat is where egos go to die.”
- Repeat steps 2-5.
• The guys and gals you roll with become your brothers and sisters. I’ve found that intense struggle and learning are Gorilla Glue for relationships. You learn from, teach, and try to kill those you share the mat with. They try to kill you too, and when you’re an inch away from death, you tap their shoulder, they let you go, and you do it all over again.
Look up local jiu jitsu gyms in your area. It’s scary and overwhelming and intimidating at first, but it will most likely be one of the greatest decisions you’ll ever make.