A Jiu Jitsu martial arts practice has many health benefits for your body and your mind. With every class you attend, you are building habits that can lead to improvements in your physical and mental health.
By focusing all of your attention on a single activity, Jiu Jitsu, your training becomes like a moving meditation. When you become more mindful, you become more aware of your thoughts. Managing these thoughts means you experience less stress. And when you experience less stress, your overall health and daily life improve.
Here are a few ways that Jiu Jitsu promotes mindfulness:
One of the basic ways to create a strong connection between your body and mind is through breathing. Taking deep breaths where you’re focusing on the inhale and exhale creates a calmer mind, reduces heart rate, and improves performance. Shifting your focus to your breathing directs your attention away from the stress of the day. One hundred percent of your attention is on your Jiu Jitsu class and what’s happening in the present moment.
It’s impossible to stop negative thoughts, but it is possible to reframe them. The first step in managing negative thoughts is to become aware of them. This awareness develops, along with a strong mind-body connection. If you practice awareness of your thoughts (either positive or negative) while training, you’re also increasing mindfulness.
Comparing yourself to other students in your class makes it tough to maintain a mind-body connection. Rather than paying attention to others, focus on yourself. Practice noticing when you’re no longer focused on yourself and bring your attention back to your training. Letting go of how much the other students are progressing in favor of your own improvement promotes mindfulness.