Study Document

Leisure Sports Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Essay

Pages:9 (2660 words)



Topic:Jiu Jitsu

Document Type:Essay


How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Can Help to Teach the Body Discipline

Concrete Experience

I learned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) because it was an opportunity for me to exercise, learn a sport, discipline my body and my mind, and develop self-defense training. During the month I participate in a BJJ class at least four times. If I have free time I will do more, but I am at the very least consistently there for at least one session per week. I have participated in the Gracie School for several years, going back to 2015.

Since the beginning, I have learned many skills, such as bridging and shrimping, how to grip correctly, the standing guard pass, the escaping side mount, breath control and the straight-armlock from guard. Escaping from the bottom is one of the drills I remember most as it really opened my eyes to what BJJ is all about (Barra, 2015). But aside from physical skills there were always mountains of knowledge to consume. We were not always focused so much on the regulations of the sport as on the fundamentals of attack and defense.

The specific objectives I had for learning about the sport were basic. I wanted to get fit, become more disciplined, and learn self-defense. I felt that having some sense of how to defend myself would give me confidence, which it has done. I also felt that by learning BJJ I could become more disciplined and healthier all the way around since it depends upon fitness to stay in good shape.

Resources I used to learn about BJJ included books, videos on YouTube, information from friends who were involved with it, and articles online. Gracie University was always a good source of information. I also enjoyed the world of MMA and admired grapplers, and that got me interested in BJJ as well. BJJ Techniques to Defeat Bigger and Stronger Opponents by Dan Faggella was also a title I perused frequently, as was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Alexandre Paiva.

Observations and Reflections

I did not have any preconceived ideas about the sport other than that I figured it would be good for me, it would be challenging, and that in the end I would love it. All three of those were true. My experience with BJJ has been nothing but positive. Since I did not know a whole lot about it before I got involved, there was not much for me to go on in terms of forming preconceived ideas.

I did think that I would be good at the sport. That was part of what attracted me to it. I was interested in it, in the techniques, in the idea of it, in the philosophy, in the skills it could teach, and in the way it disciplined the body. I was attracted to the idea that BJJ was designed for people who ordinarily would not be expected to put up much fight—so I liked that it was essentially made for the underdog.

I basically had the desire to learn about the sport and then got involved pretty quickly. It was not a decision that I thought long and hard about for a year or two before taking the plunge. It was more a matter of hearing about it, seeing it, and thinking that, ah, yes, this is what I want. There were no considerations about learning, money, location, or physical limitations. It was: “Here is BJJ.” And I said, “Yes.” Other sports had nowhere near the same appeal. Baseball is too much standing around. Football or basketball requires a certain body type. BJJ is made so that nearly anyone can do it.

In terms of being similar to other sports, BJJ is really in a world of its own. One can compare it to traditional Jiu-Jitsu or other martial arts perhaps, but even there it is unique. Compared to sports like basketball, BJJ is similar in the sense that one is constantly shifting from offense to defense, one has to guard, one has to block the opponent’s progress, and so on. Both are very physical and both require a lot of attention to detail. As oddly as it may sound, I think BJJ is closest to basketball of all other sports even though there is no ball involved in BJJ. Just the idea of how you use your body to defend or attack—that is where I find the similarities. In terms of rules, costs, popularity—BJJ is unique. Basketball can be played for free—but if you want to practice BJJ you’re probably going to need to be a member of a gym where BJJ is practiced.

The personal trends I noticed as I became more involved in BJJ was that I spent more time on physical conditioning than I did sitting around watching TV or on the Internet. I was no longer static—I was up and moving with purpose and it was great. I could talk about it with my friends, and we would watch other grapplers and wrestlers. I paid more attention to nutrition but my dieting habits did not change a great deal.

The hardest part of the sport to learn was how to move the hips. Moving the hips is so essential to BJJ, which is why new learners spend so much time on shrimps across the mats (Mullen, 2017). After that, the most difficult things to learn were relaxing during training. Believe it or not, that is harder to do than one might think. But in BJJ you need to stay relaxed. For me, I…

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…venue like at a gym during workouts and practice sessions.

I do not plan to expand my involvement in BJJ at this time, as I am trying to concentrate on school and work at the time being. But there is always the hope that I spend more time with BJJ as the summer gets here. The trick is just finding the right work/life balance and maintaining that. It would help if I got other family members or friends involved because they can help to motivate. The more people you have doing the same thing as you the easier it is for everybody to stay motivated and engaged. I have a few friends doing BJJ but no one in my family, so that may be a goal that I shoot for: try to get a family member interested in BJJ.

What I learned about the competitive nature of man is that there is something in you that simply wants to win. It is in everybody it seems. It is a desire to keep fighting until you are on top. I can respect that desire and it is important to respect that desire in others, too. I like BJJ because it teaches you to respect your opponent. It is not a sport where trash talking someone is encouraged. It also teaches you to accept losing graciously.

Participation in sports affects my competitive nature in other areas of my life by allowing me to step back and consider what is important. In sport I feel that I am able to give full expression to my competitive side, and it helps me in a kind of cathartic way. So at work I do not have to feel competitive with others because I know that I can get those feelings out on the mat. It helps in the sense that I am able to put things in their proper context. It is appropriate to compete in the gym, but do I really need to compete with the person driving next to me on the road for dominance of the highways or do I need to compete with a coworker for the boss’s attention? The answer to both is no. Competition is for the gym and that is where I like to keep it.

Parents can involve their children in leisure sports by taking them to where the sport is held and signing them up—it is that simple. Children are more often than not going to do what they are told. Some will refuse but most will get engaged if they are told to do so by their parents. So parents do a lot simply by getting their kids to the studio where BJJ is taught. They also help by staying through practice and showing up for events and competitions…

Sample Source(s) Used


Barra, G. (2015). The five commandments of escaping from the bottom. Retrieved from

Embiid, J. (2020). The process. Retrieved from,It's%20an%20ongoing%20thing.

Mullen, M. (2017). The toughest things to learn as a BJJ beginner. Retrieved from

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