You often hear longtime practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu claim to be “living the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.” What does this actually mean? Is it simply a matter of practicing BJJ every day, or are there additional elements?
Let’s take a look at what living the BJJ lifestyle entails and why the phrase has become so popular.
Jiu-jitsu, like most other martial arts, requires consistent practice to make real progress. If you train for two years straight and then take a five-year break, you’ll come back to the art with only a fraction of the skill you gained in those first two years.
Consequently, a big part of the jiu-jitsu lifestyle is training as often as you can. The saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is very true in BJJ. Consistency is important, and being on the mat as much as you can is an essential component of living the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.
The habits you develop off the mat are also a huge element of the jiu-jitsu lifestyle. If you’ve never been involved in athletics at a high level, you likely have not invested much energy into optimizing your sleep and nutrition, which are the main pillars of recovery.
Once you start training consistently, you realize how important recovery is. If you can’t recover in time for your next training session, you won’t get as much out of it physically or mentally. Prioritizing sleep and nutrition will make your training sessions not only more effective but also more enjoyable.
Another aspect of the jiu-jitsu lifestyle is your social circle. Often, when you start training in jiu-jitsu, you develop deep bonds with your teammates. You might start traveling to compete together, and you’ll be in each other’s company very often in class. This can cause your social circle to change a bit. When you hang around people with similar goals, it helps you push yourself to accomplish those goals.
Looking at jiu-jitsu as a lifestyle can be beneficial. You will gain the benefits of the actual training and you will develop healthier habits that benefit you physically, mentally and socially.
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