Mixed martial arts (MMA) has seen explosive growth in its popularity over the past few years, largely attributed to the UFC organisation and superstars such as Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre. A fight showcasing pretty much every unarmed combat fighting style has meant that MMA and the styles within it have seen increased interest from fans and from those wanting to take up these martial arts. Possibly the fighting style that has seen the biggest rise in popularity is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), a grappling martial art that you could describe as a merging of judo and wrestling.
Below, we’ll look at a few reasons why you should consider trying it out today!
It’s a great way of keeping physically and mentally fit
In BJJ, you’ll quickly understand that you will be put in very uncomfortable positions and you will learn to cope with this. You could find yourself with an opponent on top of you trying to choke you, but physically manoeuvring yourself to safety is only half the battle – improving your mental agility and fortitude plays just as big a role, and by doing this for a few hours a week can help you improve your problem-solving skills as well as improving your cardio.
Your size plays less significance
While many proponents of BJJ may tell you that size is irrelevant, this is not completely true. Most people will still likely struggle against those who are twice their size, but BJJ certainly gives you the technical skills to make such a difference less of a defining factor. It is completely normal to see a smaller competitor out-grapple a larger opponent using leverage, something that would almost never happen in other martial arts such as boxing or wrestling.
It’s much more accessible now
Ten years ago, in the UK specifically, you would have been hard-pressed to find a gym that had any BJJ classes. Now, most MMA gyms have these classes as they are almost a prerequisite to a successful MMA course. With pretty much no more restrictions with contact sports, gyms are finding themselves getting busier by the week and offering full classes – all you need to do now is hop online and reserve your spot on their visitor management system.
It’s awesome self-defence
So you can get physically and mentally fit, as well as learning an effective way of defending yourself all in one session?! Well, that’s the beauty of martial arts. Could you ask for more? In BJJ, defending is just as important as attacking, and more often than not can lead to an opportunity to attack. You will really learn how to control yourself and once you become accustomed to this, this will easily translate into your ability to control others. BJJ is all about control leading to submission and when defending yourself, if you are able to control your attacker, you can pretty much dictate how the fight will go. Believe me, though, a sudden street fight or altercation will never be predictable, but having some knowledge of self-defence can make all the difference with the outcome.