6 Reasons Why Women Should Train Jiu Jitsu
Brazilian jiu jitsu – and many other mixed martial arts – has long been a “man’s” sport. But in the past several years, the female population in this sport has flourished, many holding world championship titles and similar achievements. This sets the bar pretty high, but you don’t have to be a world champion, or even a competitor, to reap the benefits of jiu jitsu as a female.
1. Physical Health and Fitness
Getting a membership to a local gym like Planet Fitness or a subscription to an online workout platform like Beachbody is easy. But jiu jitsu offers a complete form of exercise with an experienced coach every step of the way.
Martial arts can involve a new mix of strength and cardio, while also working on flexibility, breathing and endurance, that your body has never felt before. What you gain from jiu jitsu can’t be given by machines or heavy weights; it’s a well-balanced blend of every kind of exercise that will target every area every day.
Additionally, your nutrition will adjust as you start the jiu jitsu journey. You may not be able to eat the same as you did before and still have energy and strength for a full class; this could include more protein and less carbs, as well as drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
2. Mental Health
Beyond being good for your physical heath, jiu jitsu can improve your emotional and psychological well-being. Each class will allow you to let go of outside issues and hone in your skills. It can also be used as a stress-reliever to “fight” against what’s bothering you. Physical activity releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and reduce negativity.
This sport also encourages you to gain a better sense of your own body and what it can do, while remaining coordinated. Jiu jitsu instills goal-oriented thinking, such as in competition, and makes your brain do a little more work than just running or lifting.
3. Self Defense
Jiu jitsu is among the leading defensive arts, making it ideal for anyone seeking to learn some basic self-defense techniques. During regular training sessions, you will learn how to manipulate, restrain and defend against opponents, even if they are larger.
The goal is not to look for a fight; it is to feel confident in physical altercations if something arises – but you should never be the one to start it. Through diligent practice at jiu jitsu, students learn the appropriate methods for grappling and submitting opponents with little risk of injury to themselves. They also learn control and pacing, while developing the strength and skill to be confident in said situations.
By being knowledgeable about how to fight, you will be able to reduce anxious feelings that are sometimes common in women. Jiu jitsu can help relieve that discomfort by putting the power, control and confidence back into your own hands.
4. Social Connection
Jiu jitsu can be one of the best ways to build friendships. While it is common for women and girls to feel secluded, especially in a male-dominated place, finding a jiu jitsu gym near you can help curb those reclusive feelings.
This type of training is a social activity that will inevitably lead to strong connections. For the majority of class, you will be with various partners to drill techniques or grapple with. As you go to class more and more, your pool of partners will only grow. Trying to learn something new together can put you on the fast-track to a friendship, and you may coordinate schedules with a few people who you’ve grown closest to. You can’t do jiu jitsu alone, so these teammates are your best path to success. The more women who encourage each other and show up, the more women will join and form even more bonds.
5. Body Positivity
While current media and pop culture trends bombard women with unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards, jiu jitsu attempts to slash that idea. It teaches you to be proud of your body – it may even surprise you with what it can do. With newfound flexibility and control of physical movements, you won’t see so many flaws. Instead, you’ll see the empowered and strong woman who is dominating a “man’s” sport.
In jiu jitsu, all that matters is if you did the technique right; who you are and what you look like does not matter. Jiu jitsu enables you to fully express yourself physically as you build a game specific to you and become a master of it in class and in competition.
6. It’s Fun
Everyone needs something in their life to look forward to doing every week; something to get away from work, family or other obligations. It should make you happy or stay in shape or relieve some stress. With so many options available, you never know what will work best for you. Jiu jitsu may wind up being exactly what you need, so why not give it a try?