Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is one of the most enjoyable and effective forms of grappling and self-defence in the world, and as an added bonus, its fitness byproducts are tremendous.
Anyone who’s watched a UFC fight or other MMA match has probably heard the commentators make some reference to BJJ (or simply “jiu-jitsu”), as the most skilful and elite fighters on Earth utilize it every time they step into the cage.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is what helps top-level mixed martial artists emerge victorious in high-stakes fights and would-be crime victims to subdue criminals until emergency assistance arrives.
But for those of us who aren’t professional fighters, BJJ is a great way to have fun, make friends, burn calories, and become physically fit, once again. The sport is also affordable and accessible; all that’s needed to begin rolling is a gi or a rash guard, a protective top worn during grappling.
Health-wise, the benefits of the grappling style cannot be understated; a quick internet search of “BJJ fitness” will reveal a multitude of sources attesting to the immense physical and cardio perks of practising jiu-jitsu.
To expand upon these sources and make some new BJJ fans, let’s take a look at what makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so great for fitness!
It Activates Every Muscle in the Body
BJJ activates every single muscle in the human body. It’s often said that running does the same thing, and to be sure, it does. But the inherent physical demands of BJJ’s numerous techniques and drills work these muscles harder, and the ultimate result is unprecedented endurance and strength.
The technical muscle usages of BJJ’s many positions and manoeuvres are pretty straightforward. Between top control and defensive work from the bottom, jiu-jitsu requires effort from a leg, arm, back, and chest muscles.
Throw in multifaceted submissions, sweeps, and positional battles, as well as BJJ’s fast pace and continuous style, and it’s not difficult to see why grapplers are often the fittest individuals in any given room.
Of course, the specific terms and positions highlighted above will make sense after a week or two of BJJ classes!
It Buns a Substantial Amount of Calories
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helps grapplers to burn a substantial amount of calories.
Because every muscle in the body is once again utilized, and there is a wide range of movements taking place at any given time, BJJ’s use as a calorie burner and fat reducer are enticing in their own right.
Once the calorie-elimination differences between BJJ and traditional cardio are experienced firsthand, the latter becomes slightly more difficult to practice. BJJ is fun and it gets the caloric job done!
Accessible Practice Options
Exercising outside during the winter can be, well, unrealistic for some. Especially when snowfall accumulates to a foot or more running down the street and/or performing other exercises becomes something of a health hazard as opposed to a health benefit.
Unlike the weather and potentially overcrowded gyms, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is ready and waiting to be enjoyed any day, anytime. All one needs to practice BJJ and get some fantastic exercise in the process is a bit of space, a mat, and a partner.
Joining a BJJ gym is advisable, but not much is needed to get some extra training and exercise in, regardless of one’s location or specific situation.
For instance, in addition to attending BJJ classes, former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin—a cardio powerhouse if ever there has been one—got his training on a mat in his garage.
BJJ is great for fitness because it’s accessible and affordable.
There’s never been a better time than today to benefit from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s many positive points, including outstanding muscle toning and calorie burning opportunities, beneficial self-defence knowledge, and friendship with other grapplers.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to all BJJ has to offer practitioners!