One of the biggest questions that I get is, “Why Jiu-Jitsu?” I mean there are literally hundreds of other styles and even sports that you could do. It is true that other sports offer great benefits similar to BJJ. Swimming is a great sport to get involved in. It will keep you in great shape and it is something that you can do for many years. Golf is a sport that you can do with a group for your entire life and do it with friends. Walking, jogging, tennis, skiing and so many other sports are all great. So why in the world would you settle for a sport where people are invading your personal space, sweating on you, trying to choke you and put all of their weight down on top of you?
I believe there is nothing that even comes close to Jiu-Jitsu. I have often said that Jiu-Jitsu is like running a sprint, swimming, lifting weights, playing chess, and hanging out with your friends all at the same time. One of my students recently conducted a research project measuring the number of calories burned in Jiu-Jitsu verses traditional weight lifting and cardio work in the gym. He burned 1000 calories in two hours in the gym. In Jiu-Jitsu he burned 1000 calories in just 1 hour. While burning those calories he was laughing with friends, pushing himself to new limits, learning something new, and enjoying every moment. Many people I speak to like lifting weights but admit it that is often lonely and boring. One thing I know for sure is that Jiu-Jitsu is never boring. Along with the camaraderie of the sport you will always find a challenge both mentally and physically.
Then there is the challenge of learning. I have a lot of friends who take or teach some form of karate. One of the things that I often hear people say is that once they finish their black belts they will start training Jiu-Jitsu. There is something to be said for completing any task but in martial arts there is a huge problem. True martial arts never ends. The greatest boxers of all time will tell you that they are constantly learning. However in boxing there are only so many punches and angles. I karate there are only so many kicks. Now you can get better and improve timing on all of those techniques but the technique is the same. Jiu-Jitsu is a constantly evolving art. Their is always a new choke, a new sweep, a new arm lock, a new pass, always something new to learn. My professor Matt Baker once said that a black belt understands that he will never stop learning.
Let me give you a New Years Challenge. Go try one month of Jiu-Jitsu. Just one month. Jiu-Jitsu is the fasting growing martial art in the world for a reason. Go try one month and see how Jiu-Jitsu can change your life.
Having the opportunity to train with my children has been one of life’s greatest blessings.