I’ve been taking my 9 year old daughter to Judo and practising traditional ju jitsu for the past 6 months and it has been life-changing. And I am not the only one who thinks this. Judo and ju jitsu are made to be lifetime sports. They are not just for the young, or the muscular or for men , they are for everyone and they really make a difference. I believe that everyone can benefit from judo and/or ju jitsu, no matter your age or physical athleticism. As a martial art they go way beyond knowing self defence. They can be real and positive ways to make change in our lives whether we are 7 or 70. So here the 7 benefits:
1. The value of hard work
When you start out you are getting thrown and learning how to defend against holds and attacks. At first it can seem like you are always picking yourself up off the floor. But as you put more time into your practice, you learn more and begin to understand more. And then you put more time in you find yourself able to make the moves with a flow and power that you didn’t realise were yours, the defensive and throwing movements, the ground works becomes instinctive. Judo and Ju-Jitsu teaches you the value of hard work, because you actually get to see the fruits of your labour every time you practise. Your progress can be seen; it’s tangible. This lesson in ju jitsu and judo can be taken and applied to all areas of your life. Getting good at judo and ju jitsu is just like getting good at anything else, you need to stay the path, be consistent, and practice, the results speak for themselves.
2. Staying power
When I first started back with Ju-Jitsu, I was getting extremely frustrated and felt like I wasn’t making any progress. I couldn’t quite get the legs to do what they were supposed to, when I didn’t get the break fall just right or my partner landed on my ribs. There were many nights where I thought twice about going But you know what? I started getting better. My stamina increased as I began my mornings with some brief stretches and exercise. Then after a bit longer, it all clicked together, right now, I am at the point of finally getting it and being able to watch my daughter go through the very same process . You have two choices when you are thrown, or fall you can either get up and try again or you can walk away. The People who progress get up and try again. That is called persistence and also grit.
3. Facing your fears
The fear of being physically hurt is a strong emotion that holds many people back from many of life’s more enjoyable activities. It is also what the bully and the street thug rely on that you are afraid. Judo and Ju Jitsu are combat—-and sometimes it hurts. While injuries do happen, precautions are taken to make sure that you are as safe as possible. The people that stay with judo and ju jitsu are eventually able to face their fears of being hurt and become resistant to their fear of pain as a result. Once you have done judo and ju jitsu for awhile, you will find that most of your fears of being hurt are unfounded, most of the time. And that is an analogy for many of our fears in life, they are not based on actual evidence, they are mostly based on other peoples manipulation of our emotion and attitude to life. The confidence my daughter now shows is twice what it was before.
4. Physically tough – Mentally tough
Trust me you are going to get thrown to the ground, a lot. That is just the how it is. But as you get thrown more often, your body starts to toughen up and absorb this a lot better. Then, it won’t hurt as much. The other reason juu jitsu and judo make you physically tough is because of the nature of the martial arts. The goal of both sports is to defend yourself often via either a throw or trip, then or lock a joint or make a strike to disable an attacker. Over time this will make you more physically, You have to actively try to throw, trip, choke, or lock a joint of an opponent.
I notice a new mental toughness in my daughter. both Judo and Ju-Jitsu teache you to fight back when you are backed against the wall. It teaches you that you should not be afraid to fight someone bigger or more skilled than you. US Judo Olympian Will Dampier said this of Judo, “[b]eing thrown around makes you physically tough, but Judo also builds mental toughness; knowing you can go up against a guy twice your size and still win is a great feeling.”
No matter how big or how physically fit you are, both Judo and Ju-Jitsu are about technique and you will have a lot to learn. Judo andJu-Jitsu are martial arts that level the playing field for the smaller and weaker because it is more technique-oriented. I am a big guy 6ft and 13.5 stone but my 9 year old daughter can trip and throw me. Extremely fit people can come into the dojo cocky but can leave very humbled by their initial experience, if they have not realised someone half their size can throw them at will or easily place them in a lock hold they are not able to escape from. As you continue with these martial arts, the humbleness that you feel at the beginning of your journey stays with you, because each time your precise with your partner and throw them put a lock on them, practise ground work they must learn to throw you and do the same so you don’t just learn to hand it out you learn what not feels like to have it handed out to you.
Although you become more humble you also gain more confidence. You are confident because you have been given skills to defend yourself and hold your own. But more importantly, the confidence you build comes from being proficient, being skillful, and being able to face your fears.
7. Keep Fit
Keep fit and lose wight with Ju-Jitsu. The amount of calories you burn working with a partner in judo and jiu jitsu is ridiculous. Both works out both your anerobic and aerobic systems, giving you great cardio endurance. In addition to working on your cardio, the sports also help you build muscles, often in areas that are least developed. Both Judo and Ju-Jitsu use muscles very rarely used during the day—so it gives you a chance to develop major muscle groups along with muscles that you would not otherwise develop just lifting weights, running etc. On top of cardiovascular and muscular strength, the sports also give you increased agility, reflex, and balance.
I am just an ordinary middle aged guy, not a fanatic of martial arts; I do not spend every day practicing it and I do not compete in tournaments. Judo and Ju-jitsu are not things you have to dedicate all your time to in order for it to be beneficial to your life. You can be a casual practitioner like me and reap the many benefits it has to offer. So don’t be scared out of practicing because you feel like you have to dedicate your life to it—you don’t.
Although both Martial Arts have huge benefits, it is not practical for most people to do both due to time constraints, money, or other reasons. At Bushido Kwai Dojo, both are taught and traditional Ju-Jitsu bears many of the trademarks of Judo. I’ve us a call or come on down. to our Dojo in Lewes, East Sussex.