The benefits of BJJ: Improve fitness, mental health & social skills

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benefits of bjj

Do you want to simultaneously improve your physical fitness, mental health, and social skills? Look no further than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ for short. This martial art, which originated in Brazil and has gained popularity worldwide, offers many benefits beyond just learning self-defense. This post will explore how BJJ can improve your well-being, from building strength and endurance to reducing stress and anxiety. So grab your gi, and let’s get started.

Physical benefits of BJJ

One of the most obvious benefits of BJJ is its physical impact. The intense training in BJJ provides a full-body workout to help you build strength, endurance, and flexibility. Here are some specific ways that BJJ can benefit your physical health:

1. Increased cardiovascular health

BJJ involves a lot of movement, from rolling on the ground to sparring with a partner. This constant motion can increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that BJJ practitioners had significantly lower resting heart rates and higher VO2 max levels compared to sedentary individuals. This means that BJJ can help you burn calories and lose weight and lower your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.

2. Improved strength and endurance

BJJ training involves a lot of grappling, which requires you to use your entire body to control your opponent. This can help you build muscle strength, especially in your core, back, and legs. Additionally, the BJJ training conditioning drills can improve your endurance, allowing you to last longer during sparring sessions and in other physical activities.

3. Enhanced flexibility and balance

BJJ involves a lot of movement on the ground, requiring you to contort your body in various ways. This can help you improve your flexibility and range of motion. In addition, many BJJ techniques require balance and stability, which can improve your overall balance and reduce your risk of falls and other injuries.

To sum it up, the physical benefits of BJJ can improve your cardiovascular health, build strength and endurance, and enhance your flexibility and balance. But the benefits don’t stop there. Let’s take a look at how BJJ can benefit your mental health.

Mental menefits of BJJ

BJJ is not just a physical sport – it also requires a lot of mental focus and discipline. As a result, BJJ can benefit your mental health in a variety of ways, including:

1. Reduced stress and anxiety

BJJ can be a stress-relieving activity, allowing you to release pent-up emotions and focus on the present moment. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that BJJ training reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults. Additionally, the sense of community and support that comes with BJJ training can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, contributing to mental health issues.

2. Increased self-confidence and self-esteem

BJJ training can be challenging, but the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastering a technique or earning a new belt can be a huge confidence booster. Additionally, the supportive environment of a BJJ gym can help you feel more secure in yourself and your abilities.

3. Improved focus and mental clarity

BJJ requires a lot of mental focus and discipline, which can help you improve your ability to concentrate and stay on task. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that BJJ training improved cognitive function in older adults. By simultaneously challenging your brain and body, BJJ can help you maintain and even improve your mental agility as you age.

Overall, the mental benefits of BJJ can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-confidence and self-esteem, and improve focus and mental clarity. But wait, there’s more. Let’s take a look at how BJJ can benefit your social skills.

Social benefits of BJJ

BJJ is a community-oriented sport often involving training with partners and participating in group classes. This can help you build social connections and improve your communication and teamwork skills. Here are some specific ways that BJJ can benefit your social health:

1. Sense of community and camaraderie

BJJ gyms often have a tight-knit community of practitioners who support and encourage each other. This can create a sense of belonging and camaraderie that can be difficult to find in other areas of life. Additionally, the mutual respect and sportsmanship that is part of BJJ culture can help you build meaningful relationships with others.

2. Improved communication and social skills

BJJ training often involves working with partners and communicating with your coach and other gym members. This can help you improve your communication and teamwork skills, which can benefit your personal and professional life. Additionally, the feedback and constructive criticism part of BJJ training can help you learn how to give and receive feedback positively.

3. Opportunities for competition and goal-setting

BJJ has a competitive aspect that can help you set and achieve goals. Whether working towards earning a new belt or competing in a tournament, the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving a goal can be a huge confidence booster. Additionally, the opportunity to compete can help you improve your mental toughness and resilience.

Overall, the social benefits of BJJ can help you build a sense of community and camaraderie, improve your communication and social skills, and provide opportunities for competition and goal-setting. But how do you get started with BJJ? Let’s take a look at some practical tips.

Getting started with BJJ

If you’re interested in trying BJJ, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Find a gym or instructor. The first step to starting BJJ is to find a gym or instructor in your area. Look for a gym with experienced instructors, a supportive community, and a culture aligning with your values.
  2. Start with the basics. When you first start BJJ, focusing on the basics is important. Learn the fundamental techniques and positions before trying more advanced moves. This can help you build a strong foundation for your practice.
  3. Be patient. BJJ is a complex and challenging sport that can take time to master. Be patient with yourself and your progress, and focus on incremental improvements rather than trying to master everything at once.
  4. Listen to your body. BJJ can be physically demanding, and listening to your body and resting when needed is important. Don’t push yourself too hard or too fast, and be sure to communicate with your coach if you have any injuries or concerns.
  5. Have fun. At the end of the day, BJJ is a sport and should be enjoyable. Have fun with your practice, and enjoy the process of learning and improving.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers a wide range of benefits for your physical, mental, and social well-being. Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular health, reduce stress and anxiety, or build meaningful social connections, BJJ can help you achieve your goals. If you want to try BJJ, find a gym or instructor in your area and get started on improving your well-being. With patience, dedication, and a focus on the fundamentals, you can experience the transformative benefits of this powerful martial art.


  • Almeida, G. F., Da Silva, B. K., Ferreira, M. R., Lopes, T. R., & Follmer, B. (2017). Cardiorespiratory and metabolic demands of Brazilian jiu-jitsu combat. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(1), 62-66.
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Finn Mitoma

Founder @ The Combative

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