It is no secret that traditional Ju-Jitsu helps improve the psyches of its practitioners. From day one, we start a journey of self discovery, what we can cope with and we learn to push through difficulty and adversity.
It can be hard to narrow in on the precise ways that Ju-Jitsu could help you and whilst this website is becoming a bit of a list site sometimes it is nice to know what these ways are, either as a way to remind us why we practise , or to simply have a good way to explain to friends, enquirers or beginners what they are getting besides the ability to defend themselves.
Here are 7 major ways that ju jitsu helps its practitioners on a psychological level:
1. Everything seems easier. Ok, Alright, this may be over egging things slightly because there are areas of life that are more difficult than ju-jitsu, but generally once you start practising as with many physical practices from yoga to martial arts things that may have had a negative impact are no longer that important and we can more clearly see our own strengths and weaknesses because we are forced to see them so often when we practise.
2. Increased confidence. I am going to keep banging on about this, because it is core to what we do, a lot is not conscious its unconscious, we just start to hold ourselves differently and give off a different vibe. Of course doing just about any sport will increase the confidence of its practitioners, but martial arts are special and ju-jitsu, the gentle art really is extra special. The reason for this is that it is one of the very few combat effective martial arts and forms of self defence that can be practiced when ever you want at full speed without completely destroying its practitioners.
3. Calmness To be balanced is part of the secret of good traditional ju-jitsu. and training regularly allows us to let off steam so that both negative and positive emotions are vented in a healthy way, and it sends endorphins through our bodies. In addition if you spend a few nights a week attacking and being attacked in your club the desire to vent aggression elsewhere goes down. Traditional Ju- jitsu practitioners tend to be calmer and more centred than most other athletes.
4. A stimulated mind. The better you get at Ju-Jitsu the more you are able to foresee the other person’s movement. It also opens one’s mind up much like a game of chess can. Often people who train seriously have better problem solving skills than those who do not. These skills are applicable just about everywhere in life.
5. A focussed mind. In todays internet plugged in world, it can be hard to switch off, but with the practise of Ju-Jitsu, those hours on the mat must be focussed on Ju-jitsu, to learn the skills, to be able to defend your body and your mind must have the focus and the memory, this just won’t work if you are distracted. And certainly many have said that their distractions disappearance they start their practise.
6. Friendship. I have seen several items on the internet that mention people who train tend to socialize mostly with other people who train. This is true of many sports and martial arts. The more you training traditional ju jitsu the more you understand and want to talk and increase your understanding. In addition its a shared experience, something special, unconsciously you have broken down many barriers to link with others in a shared experience. These are good friends to have and they will motivate you on a psychological level to reach higher goals.
6. Humility. I go on about this a lot as well. Kids often come to traditional ju-jitsu hoping to learn confidence perhaps because they are under pressure or being bullied at school, why would they want to learn humility. Of course they do learn a great deal of confidence, but the learning of humility helps prevent them becoming like those who want to hurt others for the sake of it. Jigaro Kano’s (one of the founders of modern martial arts through Judo) moral code for Judo encompasses this.
JITA-KYOEI meaning “mutual welfare and benefit”, was Kano’s favourite saying. To him, the aim of judo was not simply to be an Olympic champion or to be stronger or a more formidable adversary than anybody else who challenged you; the ultimate aims are to strive to be the best one can possibly be, and for everybody involved in the practise to work together to benefit and improve not only themselves, but their society. It was also his belief that societies should cooperate to benefit and improve humanity as a whole.
Jigoro Kano abided by a moral code which he urged his judo students to follow both on and off the mat. It encompassed the following basic principles which, to this day, act as as a guide for dedicated practitioners of Judo and traditional Ju-Jitsu.
Be polite to others.
Seek challenges, and be brave in the face of difficulty.
Be sincere in your words and actions.
Do what is right, and stand by your principles.
Forgo your ego. Stop thinking its all about me!
No matter what your thoughts and passions, maintain an outward display of control
Be a good companion and friend.
Be well presented and clean
Very often, people who don’t train can develop misconceptions about their own physical prowess and abilities. It is just the reality of the human psyche. People think they could do things that they in fact could not, and they have a delusional self perception. Ju Jitsu is a great leveller, truly feeling the control and purpose of another with whom you practise reveals much about your own abilities, to be thrown and get up again and carry on. Most people do not realize the long term benefits of humility, but they are numerous!
As we know sports psychology has moved into the limelight and appreciated more. We realise that to develop physically we must also develop psychologically.