There are lots of martial arts to choose from if you want to start classes, but one of the fastest growing martial arts is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
More and more people are choosing to learn this style of fighting, and classes are becoming more readily available in lots of different areas. But why is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so popular and addictive?
We have put together this guide to what makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so fun and why people are becoming addicted to this hands-on sport. Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of martial art that is based on grappling and wrestling movements to get your opponent to the ground.
The idea is that once your opponent is on the ground they are less able to strike you or hurt you, giving you the upper hand and allowing you to escape danger.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu originated from Japanese Jiu Jitsu that was used by samurai soldiers as a form of unarmed combat on the battlefield. Japanese Jiu Jitsu branched off into different types of martial arts including Judo.
One particular Judo fighter who was very proficient moved to Brazil where they continued to teach. A group of brothers who were learning from him took inspiration from Judo to create their own martial art – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is designed to help you overpower your opponent using minimum effort. You use your opponent’s body movement, power and weight against them to get the upper hand.
This means that you can easily win against someone who is a lot bigger and stronger than you, making it an appealing choice for lots of different people of all shapes and sizes.
What Makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu So Addictive?
Many people who start learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu describe it as an addictive experience. But why is this? What is it about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that makes it so addictive?
We all know that when you exercise, endorphins are released into your body which makes you feel good. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu releases a larger amount of endorphins than lots of other sports.
This is because from your very first class, you have to work with a partner to learn and practice different grappling movements.
Even if you don’t take part in sparring for a while, you will still need to complete grappling drills. This means that you and your partner will be engaging in direct combat movements, trying to overpower each other.
This is not just an adrenaline rush, it also forces you to clear your mind and focus only on the task at hand. This allows more endorphins to be released.
Clearing your mind in this way is also very beneficial for your mental health. It is a temporary release from anything in your daily life that is worrying you or causing you stress.
Once you have learned how to clear your mind, you can apply this discipline to other areas of your life which will help to prevent you from becoming overwhelmed in various situations.
Another reason why grappling makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so addictive is because it releases Oxytocin. This hormone is released from physical contact, and is also called the cuddle hormone or the empathy hormone.
Though a grapple is far from a cuddle, your body responds in a similar way. You will not be conscious of this, but it will leave your brain wanting more Oxytocin which will make you want to keep coming to classes.
This is especially true for people who are deprived of human contact in their everyday lives.
There is a lot of problem solving involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How are you going to get out of this lock position that your partner has you in?
How are you going to use your opponent’s momentum against them? It is a very strategic martial art that uses problem solving skills rather than brute force and strength.
This means that it engages different parts of your brain and makes it addictive, similar to puzzle games.
When you successfully solve a problem you will feel a great sense of satisfaction. This feeling itself is addictive, and you will want to experience that feeling again.
This will drive you to seek out more difficult problems to solve, encouraging you to challenge yourself in order to improve.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a clear progression structure based on colored belts. This means that you are awarded for your hard work and perseverance. Classes are made up of mixed ability students, which gives you something to aspire to.
If you see students with a different colored belt performing at a higher level than you, it will motivate you to keep working hard so you can achieve the same level of skill.
This encourages people to stick to the classes and keep their eyes fixed on their goal. Even when you reach black belt, there is much more you can learn so you will never get bored.
There is something quite primal about the grappling and wrestling involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It puts your body and mind in a situation that they will not often find themselves in as part of a modern lifestyle.
Even though the class is a safe environment, you will go into survival mode. This activates different parts of your brain that you don’t often use.
Once those parts have been activated, you will want to keep using them. This makes you more likely to return to your classes time and time again.
Each martial art has its own philosophy, and embodying the morals of the sport is just as important as learning the physical skills. The philosophy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based on community.
Each person should be respected and treated as an equal, and you should strive to help each other as much as you can both inside and outside of class. This makes people feel welcome and like they belong to something bigger than themselves.
There are lots of reasons why people become addicted to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which explains why it is one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world.