Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular practice in today’s busy world. People are turning to it as a way of giving them some peace from the ever increasing number of distractions in their daily environment.

Everyday smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TV screens bombard us with constant information and notifications. As a result many people find it hard to focus for a sustained period of time. This has led to a global rise in the levels of anxiety and depression across the world. Apps such as Headspace and Calm have become popular for people looking to learn how to meditate.

Meditation teaches us to train our attention and awareness in order to achieve a mentally clear and calm emotional state. For anyone that has ever trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the benefits of regular meditation may already sound familiar.

Being present in the moment

Reduced levels of stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and an overall feeling of well-being are just some of the benefits that can be gained from practicing Jiu Jitsu or meditation (or both!).

This is because Jiu Jitsu training is quite similar to meditation in many ways. Think about it.

When you are rolling you are completely present in the moment. Whether you are on the attack or simply trying to survive, there is no room for outside distractions. Problems from school, work, or family life are a million miles away in those moments when you are on the mat. Freeing yourself from this noise can be incredibly liberating, even if it is just for a short while.

Many people like the idea of mindfulness and meditation but never get around to practicing. There is always something else to do and it can be hard to schedule a regular time every week to do it.

In comparison Jiu Jitsu classes tend to happen at the same time every week. The average hobbyist probably trains twice a week. Having a regular time slot for training like this means that you are guaranteed to get the added mindfulness benefits that Jiu Jitsu offers.

The power of rolling

Sparring with another person in Jiu Jitsu is an incredible experience. Initially it feels weird and awkward (especially if wearing a Gi), but after a while it is the best thing about the class.

When we spar we are trying to beat our opponent while at the same time trying not to lose a good position or get submitted ourselves. The act of rolling usually requires our full attention.

On a regular night at my gym rolling takes up to 45 minutes of the class. Almost immediately afterwards I feel the benefits from the endorphins from the exercise, but it is the longer term benefits that are truly invaluable. For me these are:

  • Overall reduction stress
  • Physical sense of well being
  • Reduction in overall anxiety levels
  • Reduction in depressive symptoms
  • Increased focus on learning and self-improvement

Not everybody will feel experience all these benefits from Jiu Jitsu. However if meditation is not your thing then why not give Jiu Jitsu a try.

Almost everyone can benefit from a bit of mindfulness so why not learn it while also learning how to physically control and dominate another human being.


-Guest post by Ron @ Breakinggrips.com