Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a submission grappling art made for cracking limbs and stopping the flow of oxygen to people’s brains. I’ve been doing it for about five years, and the biggest lesson you learn is that struggle is your friend.
Suffering is inevitable, but what if it was something you chose? What if you deliberately turned up the heat on your life and plunged yourself into painful situations? This isn’t masochism. This is finding out what you’re made of.
Here are five reasons that getting your ass kicked could make you happier:
1. Jiu-Jitsu Gives You a Strong Foundation
When you start doing difficult things, you get a clear idea of what you’re capable of. You know for sure that you can handle pain because you’ve handled pain before, voluntarily.
It doesn’t have to be fighting. Any challenging activity will force you to adapt. Adapting to complex problems and uncomfortable situations will help you build a rock-solid foundation of confidence that you can carry with you wherever you go.
So much pain comes from doubting yourself. How you adapt to challenge gives you undeniable proof of what you can do. It’s what you fall back on when life becomes overwhelming. It’s a faith in yourself that can’t be shaken.
2. Jiu-Jitsu Gives You an Opportunity to Lose Yourself
You got cheated on. You failed a test. You’re getting bullied. And now you’re carrying around barrels of toxic emotion with nowhere to dump them.
You would think that going to do an activity just to lose and get mangled would worsen your mental health. However, if you’re in an environment where learning is emphasized, losing starts to feel like a gain. Every little success matters, and eventually, you can find yourself in a flow state.
Flow states are joyful moments of absolute focus and creativity. When a person is trying to strangle you, that becomes your most immediate problem. Having only one focus, everything else in your life slips away. And once it’s over, you can return to your daily problems with less anxiety and more clarity.
3. Jiu-Jitsu Gives You An Occasion to Rise To
We all need a means of testing our limits. We won’t know how far we can take it until we find something that truly challenges us.
It’s a gift to be presented with pressure. If someone is being hard on us, it can mean that they love and respect us. That they want us to discover what we’re capable of and thrive. That’s what tough love is. And having an abundance of tough love in your life can give you a strong sense of self-esteem.
If someone challenges us, it means they trust us. It means they believe we can handle it. Maybe no one ever gave you that gift. If that’s the case, then you need to seek your own challenges, and let them be your vehicles for growth.
4. Jiu-Jitsu Makes You Truly Healthy
I’m not talking about cholesterol levels or heart rates. I’m talking about vitality. I’m talking about being robust. I’m talking about feeling alive.
Getting your ass kicked on a regular basis keeps you sharp. It keeps you aware of how you’re body and mind are functioning. If you don’t look out for those faculties, they will suffer, and so will you.
It will make you want to drink water, eat kale, and maintain good habits. The zen state you feel after you putting yourself through pain will lead to better decision-making. You’ll be calmer. Your relationships will improve. You’ll feel stronger and more capable in all ways.
5. Jiu-Jitsu Gives You a Sense of Serenity
Tackling something difficult will make other problems feel lighter.
It’s like you’re getting a jump on life before it has a chance to make things hard for you. There is a peace that comes after you’ve pushed your limit, even if it’s some random Tuesday at the gym and you still have a mountain of problems left to deal with.
Knowing that you’re improving alleviates the terrible feeling that many of us have; the feeling that we might be wasting our time. I don’t think anyone has ever considered personal growth to be wasted time.
Get a Little Rough
What if you embedded challenging yourself into your daily life? Just taxing yourself in some capacity on a regular basis. How far could you go? What could you discover about yourself?
You won’t always feel like doing it. Most of the time you might not. But after you show up, you never regret it.
- You gain the ability to adapt. You can carry that confidence with you in any situation.
- You gain the means to enter flow and release your emotions.
- You gain a mountain to climb.
- You gain a way to feel alive.
- You gain a way to bring more peace into your life.