When should you start BJJ?
I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when I was 17 years old and in this blog, we'll be discussing 5 reasons why we think young adults should train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the benefits they gain from doing so in their late teens and early 20s.
1) It's Grounding
After coming out of education life can be turbulent. Not sure what to do with your life. Probably feeling unsure about the path that you've started upon, which you may or may not have even chosen for yourself...
Struggling with your identity and how you fit into society!
Drugs, nights-out, and losing your sense of reality into a routine of pleasure chasing misery. Alongside not knowing what on earth you're doing with your life. Or maybe that was just me 😂
Many would call this the 'quarterly life crisis'...
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was an absolute God-send during this period. No matter what else was going on in my life. BJJ was a constant. Something to encourage me to let go of all the BS and just be present in the moment.
Not to mention the fact that most people in their early 20s are surrounded by other people in their early 20s who are just as messed up as they are. Being in a BJJ class and surrounded by people who probably have their sh*t together more than you do certainly helps.
Having something to focus on, a reason to get to bed at a reasonable time, a reason to eat well, and to not drink to excess. Is immensely valuable.
2) Check Your Ego
Ego (when used here) is that side of ourselves that makes us selfish, petty, jealous, vindictive, pompous, arrogant, etc.
A lot of young people have egos off the charts!
Highly fragile and receptive to insult. This is just bad for everyone involved.
BJJ checks your ego because you're forced to accept defeat in the most primal context possible (a fight) to another man or woman and have the boundaries of your self-image contained to a more realistic level...
That is to say: you suddenly realize you're not as important or as special as you thought you were. As is often quoted:
"Jiu-Jitsu is the best reminder that you are not special. You have a neck just like everyone else and somebody is going to squeeze the F out of it."
Once you have this epiphany in the context of Jiu-Jitsu it might just start leaking out into the rest of your life... The sense that you're not as important as you once thought.
Making you realize you should learn to respect other people's opinions more and see things from other people's points of view as well as from your own.
And that's just good for humanity 😇
3) Learn To Fight
This one is pretty self-explanatory but we'll delve a little into it nonetheless.
Young men in particular are dramatically more likely to be the victims of violent crime than any other demographic. For this reason, it is so immensely valuable for young men and young people in general to arm themselves with some knowledge and experience of fighting.
Without a doubt understanding the mechanics of BJJ, the basics of ground fighting, standing grappling and the principles of distance management are very useful.
As well as just the effect of becoming used to having another person trying to pull your head off.
The added confidence is a major benefit here. Allowing you to carry yourself more assertively and end conflicts before they've escalated to violence.
4) Make Unique Friendships
One of the major benefits of BJJ for young people is the fact that they stand the chance to gain friendships with some truly remarkable individuals.
BJJ attracts such a diverse mix of people that you can benefit from. For example, being friends with people of different generations (ages) is immensely valuable.
If the only people you spend time around are people the same age as you it is likely you are going to end up in the many pitfalls of youth because you'll just follow the crowd.
Whereas if you can take the advice and heed the warnings of your elders who have been there, done that, and learned the lessons - you will benefit massively by avoiding the pitfalls.
5) Mental Health
It is, unfortunately, true that more and more young people are struggling with their mental health these days. Depression and anxiety are buzzwords that are appearing more and more.
Is it just a matter of overdiagnosis, self-fulfilling prophecies, and the victim mentality, that seems so prevalent these days, rearing its ugly head? Some of these mental health issues that are reported may be unnecessarily exasperated.
However, in a lot of cases, it is real. Whether it's the technological age tearing us away from the meaning found in spending time with our loved ones. Or the effect of the 'anti-social' media apps like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
We're a little bit f*cked.
BUT Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu harbors real human connections and positive relationships. It requires no technological input. It encourages a healthy lifestyle away from the junk foods that are thrown in our faces.
It teaches you to avoid unnecessary conflicts and to love and respect your fellow man and woman.
Exercise itself has some awesome benefits for the brain, stabilizing the concoction of neurochemicals that make up your sense of mood in the first place and providing a better foundation for a healthy mind.
BJJ is fantastic for so many people in helping them to battle their mental health issues!
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is awesome for young people! The 5 benefits listed above are just the start. If you haven't already we would strongly advise that you find your local BJJ gym/academy and enroll!
Are you a young adult who trains BJJ? What did you think about our list? Do you agree, disagree? Anything you'd add or alter...
As always let us know in the comments!