People become involved with Brazilian jiu-jitsu for many reasons. Self-defense, competition, and weight loss are among those reasons. BJJ schools also provide a team atmosphere lacking with other martial arts. The camaraderie draws from how the students rely on one another to improve. Since Brazilian jiu-jitsu involves “rolling,” also known as grappling-only sparring, students work together to help each other improve. Continual improvement leads to grow and an increase in self-confidence. Your team can only do so much, though. At some point, you must put forth the necessary self-discipline to see your skills improve. Self-discipline isn’t a trait everyone automatically possesses. Studying Brazilian jiu-jitsu, however, can help you develop it.

Overcome Fear

Self-discipline takes many forms. Going to the gym and the BJJ school with consistency displays both discipline and determination. Self-discipline does manifest in other ways, too. Gaining control of your emotions represents a higher level of empowered self-discipline. While Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art and not a form of pop psychology, realistic nature does require practitioners to control their emotions. A calm, unfettered mind supports positive performance on and off the mat. 

One emotion people struggle with is fear, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu might serve as a means of conquering fear. Fear takes many forms and can be contagious. At a BJJ gym, new students might worry about losing their rolling sessions. Honestly, even seasoned practitioners feel this way. Others feel age might take the skill they developed away from them one day. Here is some good news: with proper training, you can overcome training hurdles that create fear. Overcoming fear may prove contagious. If you defeat your worries on the mat, you might beat them in other areas of life, too.

Cultivate Patience

Most things of value take time to acquire. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is no different. Since expertise in the art derives from skill, fakers get exposed. And good instructors become apparent thanks to the many excellent students they produce. Whether you want to become a great fighter or a great instructor, you must put the necessary time required to attain such skills. Besides putting in the effort to build up your ability, you must master the lost art of patience. As with emotional control, BJJ-derived patience helps you off the mat. Patience helps you think more rationally and control strong emotions such as rage. Being able to control strong emotions is essential in high-stakes situations. Patience is an incredibly valuable life skill to develop, so embrace any art that helps you cultivate it.

Paying More Attention to Fitness

Like other martial arts, BJJ is a strongly physical pursuit. Years of regular, consistent practice are required to become proficient, and in this effort comes physical fitness. But in order to become truly proficient, BJJ practitioners who want to improve their performance need to look at fitness off the mat — cross-training, eating a balanced diet, and getting adequate sleep and hydration. You can’t “go” without any gas in the tank. If you feel your performance suffers due to poor conditioning, then maybe you should put effort into lifting weights and hitting some cardio sessions. And how’s your diet? Eating right can support better performance as well. Improving your diet can do more than enhance your jiu-jitsu. A better diet could lead to a healthier overall life.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu isn’t the only vehicle for developing self-discipline, but it is among the most fun. Whether you want to cultivate better self-discipline or just try something new, it might be the martial art for you.