5 Lessons BJJ Can Teach You About Life

Flyweight mixed martial artist Adriano Moraes and Geje Eustaquio show respect to each other following their battle

When martial arts students take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, they expect to learn only the techniques that accompany “the gentle art.”

But along with drilling submissions and escapes, BJJ practitioners also discover that what they learn on the mats can be applied to their everyday lives.

With that in mind, here are five lessons BJJ will teach you about life.

#1 Size Is An Illusion

Renzo Gracie

One of the main draws of BJJ is that it’s a great martial art for people of all sizes. Smaller athletes are able to grapple with larger opponents because “the gentle art” is about technique – not muscle.

This means we shouldn’t underestimate anyone due to their size. Larger people can easily get outclassed by much smaller students who are well-versed in the discipline.

This is precisely what Renzo Gracie and his family have been preaching since they made the Brazilian martial art a household name in the 1990s.

#2 Age Is Just A Number

Bibiano Fernandes celebrates his win against Kevin Belingon At ONE CENTURY PART II

No matter how old you are, you’ll benefit from training in BJJ. Because the discipline utilizes leverage instead of power, any age group can practice it.

With that in mind, you should never put limits on what you choose to pursue in life just because of your age.

Take ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, for example. The BJJ standout is 40 years old – yet he sits on the bantamweight division’s throne.

#3 Technique Overrides Power

Joshua Pacio out-grappled Yoshitaka Naito to win the ONE Strawweight World Title

We’ve said it already, but we want to make it clear: BJJ is about technique, not power. On the mats, skill is your greatest weapon.

You should approach all challenges in life with the same mindset. Why go into something with reckless abandon when you can take a more calculated approach?

After falling to then-titleholder Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in October 2016 via rear-naked choke, Philippine wushu style Joshua “The Passion” Pacio worked on his takedown defense and BJJ.

Those training sessions at Team Lakay in Baguio City prepared him for the rematch in September 2018, where he fearlessly battled the Japanese star on the ground and ultimately defeated Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Title.

#4 You Need Adversity

ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes

If you pursue the art of BJJ, you are sure to experience failures along the way. You’ll get tapped out, you’ll slip up on submissions, and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re regressing.

However, it’s all part of the journey to becoming a black belt.

The same can be said about life. If you pursue anything worthwhile, you’ll face frustrations and failures. But if you overcome those adversities, you’ll experience breakthroughs that make the challenges worth it.

ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes was abandoned at birth in Brazil, grew up in an orphanage, and was later adopted. At 7 years old, however, martial arts showed Moraes that he could overcome any challenge life threw at him.

#5 Life Is About Teamwork

Angela Lee Family

Finally, “the gentle art” demonstrates that you need a team of people behind you to achieve anything worthwhile in life.

You can’t become a better grappler unless someone with a higher belt tests your skills. Without a coach, you’ll be hard-pressed to learn the subtleties of BJJ.

In life, the same holds true. Supportive loved ones and friends are all important when it comes to achieving your goals.

Just ask ONE World Champions “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and her younger brother, Christian “The Warrior” Lee. Because of the support they receive from their parents, both athletes have accomplished great things.

Read more: The 5 Fundamentals Of A Solid Muay Thai Defense

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