By: Saurav

2019-08-09 01:03:00 UTC

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(You can skip this section if you are not interested in knowing how I got into practicing martial arts. If you do wanna know, I appreciate it. Keep reading :) )

I am a software engineer. I love what I do. I believe that constantly challenging oneself is one of the best ways to be a happy individual. The more hurdles you overcome, the more blissful you will be. Keep in mind that you don't need to burn yourself out through those challenges though. Just pick a few until you get bored and do it consistently.

Let's talk about one you might have heard. Brazilian Jiu Jutsu.

I have always been interested in martial arts. When I talk about my hobbies on a date, I almost always bring an anecdote from my childhood (unless I am nervous...lol). As far as I can remember, I had a small red-colored bike which I used to ride around. Just like the kids from Netflix's Stranger Things.

Stranger things bike schwinn mikes bike

I loved that bike and used to take around as far as I could (which was like 2 miles). I grew up in a small town with one stadium and there was a church ground next to it. Every other day I will go over to the church ground and would sit and watch a few adults practice kung fu (or whatever the hell it was). I would come back and try it with pillows. lol. I would sometimes borrow books on martial arts from the school's library. I remember keeping a "Learn Judo" book for a while. It was a hardcover one and I would take pride in having it.

After a while, I did join a taekwondo gym at my school. I was very happy and would regularly attend the classes. It wasn't that of a gym per se. Just a park where a bunch of us kids would gather and learn. It was all well until the trainer just stopped showing up. And that was the end of my first intro to martial arts. lol

Flash forward to 2013 when I moved to New Delhi (In India) from the small town I grew up in. I was so happy with what I could do now. It was my first job after college. After getting my life in order, I decided to enroll in a martial arts gym. The One closest was 2 Delhi metro routes trains away. Nonetheless, I was so interested in learning it that for a while the journey didn't matter much (I was also around 21 years old at that time, maybe that's why I didn't get tired).

I got introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jutsu and Muay Thai. I liked them both. The workouts were extreme. I would literally be drenched in sweat by the time I was done. I learned a few jargon and used to be a proud owner of a GI and would show off while coming back to my apartment. Felt like I earned experience through my blood and sweat. I couldn't continue for long since I had to move to the US for my masters and then...well! life happened.

Finally in 2018 when I moved to LA after getting my dream job, I had the opportunity to do what I was yearning for. I was in a rabbit hole for a while before that. Won't get into details but it was all over and now it was time to get back into Jiu Jutsu.

I remember after a week of me moving to LA, I called my Current Professor (The main instructor with a black belt is called professor while others might be called coach) and bought a new GI. (Too bad it was a black colored gi and the academy mats were white). But I started and have been doing it so far and hope to continue doing it.


So, here are the top 10 reasons why you should give Brazilian Jiu Jutsu a try:

1. It's a never-ending quest for improvement

Don't know about other martial arts but BJJ is one of the strictest. By that I mean you literally have to earn each promotion by crafting your skills. It might take you years and you might have to compete at higher levels to earn a promotion. Each time you show up, learn a new technique, try it, forget it and keep going at it for days and months or even years till you have that in your arsenal. It makes you a more knowledgable person each day. If you are into improving yourself each day, this is one thing you can mark as done done done in your to-do list.

2. Teaches you how to be humble

After doing it for a while you will once in a while feel too full of yourself. Happens to every beginner. But the very next day you get your ass kicked and handed over to you by everyone in your academy. You learn what you did wrong and how can you defend or attack better. Next time it happens, you are prepared. But it teaches you how to learn from failure and that there is no need for ego on the mats. A girl half of your weight can tap you out if her technique is better. No need to take it personally. :)

3. Instills internal confidence

You know internally how much damage can you do to a normal person. You know you can take care of yourself and your loved ones if something like that happens. Of course, you can't fight a bullet coming at you or 10 guys trying to beat you up but you will still have enough confidence to stand up and face it in the best way (and may even do considerable damages to few of those mothafukaaas).
We roll and get tapped out again and again. Maybe get injured once in a while but show up nonetheless. Even if you are scared of an opponent twice the size of you, you still have the confidence to fight and belief that you will win. That transcends into every other aspect of your life if done right. You face challenges like a champ and fight like a man and that applies to any other avenue in life.

4. Teaches you the value of brotherhood

When I roll with someone, in my mind I wanna beat him. I want to win. I have this competitive urge to prove my dominance.
of course a lot of times I am tapped out. Sometimes I tap out others. But through all this sweat and blood and trying to beat the other person, you build respect and bond with those you train with (unless they stink..lol). They are your friends. They know your struggles and cheer for you in competitions. In my perspective, bonds form in war (or rolling...lol) are strong ones. You value them and they value you.

5. Feels great to win in front of audience

A few academies want you to compete. It feels great to prepare for a competition. You work out, eat right, are disciplined, work on your weaknesses and constantly train. I remember my first competition. I was scared. People have been talking about injuries and things which go wrong and couldn't sleep. But then I showed up and fought. After all the matches, I got a bronze. I was pretty happy and couldn't believe it. It felt great and I would keep chasing that feeling of greatness.

6. Teaches you how to meditate and be in the present

You are in the present. The reason being you won't have the time to have any other thought in your mind. If you do, in the next second, someone is tapping you out. You better pay attention! You are breathing otherwise you won't be relaxed, you are thinking about how to defend or attack or how to set up the next choke. Don't know about you but this looks like meditation to me.

7. Gets in you in a great shape

Are you tired of calorie counting and going to the gym and running on the treadmills that go nowhere? Give BJJ a try for a few months and roll hard. I can promise you, you will get ripped fast. It's very intensive and incorporates whole body workouts and movements. It makes you stronger by incorporating most of the muscles in your body. hell in the start you will get soreness in muscles you didn't even know existed. lol. But that soreness will; go away.
It incorporates everything. Core, shoulders, legs, neck, hands you name it. That's the best form of cardio you can do.

If you wanna get stronger just eat right and add 2-3 days of weight training. That's enough.
Wanna see more motivation? https://www.bjjee.com/articles/top-10-most-jacked-bjj-athletes/

That's me a long while ago after all the training and rolling was done...lol (don't know what that ice is doing there)

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8. Gives you more focus

It's a no brainer that if you are doing BJJ, your breathing is on point, you are utilizing your brain and focusing it to win the next roll or learn the next skill, making judgments in milliseconds, you will be DAMN FOCUSED SON! The more you do it the more you will learn how to let go of distractions and focus on what you want to achieve. Be it coding or a date with your dream girl ;)

9. As a software engineer, it will shock your body after work (in a good way)

We programmers often use coffee or a walk/jog or cigarettes to get us focused. IMO, to balance out 8-9 hours of sedentary work you need something way more intense than jogging.
If you like solving problems and playing those dungeons planning games even after work, this is the sport for you. Good thing, you won't get hurt badly (unless you decide not to tap), keep that pretty face as it is and get better at it as you grow older. When you leave everything behind on the mats in the evening, you will feel great the next morning at work when it matters.

10. Its 100X better than playing UFC on your XBOX

Yup. Saw those jacked players who you choose as avatars in the new XBOX UFC game? You can go and learn exactly what they can do in the game or the action movies you see. I think even more. Hell! they actually train BJJ and use it for their ground games. I say be your own hero and cheer for yourself instead of sitting lonely behind that screen and cheering for someone else. Feels like a gladiator of modern times. Take my words, it's much more immersive than those VR headsets you just bought (and much cheaper as well) ;)

So what are you waiting for? Go try, sweat, roll and enjoy :)

P.S. If you wanna join me, this is where I train. Come see me. I would love to roll. gomezjiujitsu

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