Everyone gets into jiujitsu for different reasons. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of those martial arts that allows a wide range of people with different interests and at different stages in their life to begin training. Boys and girls as young 3 or 4 can start training and so can men or women in their 30s, 40s, or 50s start learning the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Anthony Bourdain is one example. Most of us know Anthony Bourdain from his famous traveling cousin show, No Reservations. His humor and observations that he shares with everyone casts a delightful light on the different cuisines and cultures of the world. Interestingly, Anthony is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fanatic. When traveling he looks to find a place to train when there is down time. Born in 1956, that puts him at the ripe age of 60. Having started jiujitsu in his 50s, and currently a blue belt in rank, I’m going to guess it’s been an uphill battle since he started training. He says jiujitsu “appeals to some part of my brain I haven’t visited before.”
On the other end are these girls in the gi. This video was taken from the Kids American Nationals in 2015. These two girls were around age 5.
It’s fun to see them compete without any hesitation to try their best. No second guessing. Probably tapping into the same part of the brain that Anthony Bourdain talks about.
Never the less these girls and Anthony both have something in common. They share the passion to learn and have fun on the mat. To compete as a measurement of self improvement. They give their most even on days when they think that there is nothing more to give. They are competitors.
On the other hand, there are others who get into jiujitsu and never step into competition. Instead, they enjoy the relaxed learning environment of training and competitive rolling done in the safety of class with a partner they can get to know and trust. Some look to reap the benefits of getting in great shape, and being the most fit they have been in their life. While others look to learn jiujitsu from a more practical self defense perspective.
There are many angles we can think about self defense. There is the physical self defense jiujitsu can teach us how to protect ourselves when we go to our back and other positions from the feet and ground. However, there are many other self defense benefits to learning jiujitsu as well. The benefit of patience when put under adversity or high stress situations. The benefit of understanding consistency in training as opposed to short term intensity with little to no consistency. The benefit of a lifestyle of activity and movement while interacting with others on the mat. There are so many psycho social benefits to jiujitsu that are applicable to modern day self defense.
While some step onto the mat to become a world champion competitor, some wanting to learn self defense, get in shape, or start a new hobby, everyone enters the dojo with the idea of self improvement. This idea is universal in jiujitsu. Everyone wants to improve and better themselves with each and every class. If you are looking to associate with strong, healthy minded people, give jiujitsu a try!