If you study Gracie Jiu Jitsu from a reputable Instructor/Academy it will be one of the most exciting and challenging journeys you will ever take. Gracie Jiu Jitsu is not just about self-defense or getting in shape. It is about understanding yourself, those around you and life in general at a deeper level. When you are new to Jiu Jitsu it is challenging. It is almost like taking a fish out of the river and letting it flop around on the shore. For most new practitioners it is like learning an entirely new language.
Not only do you need to learn how to move your body in ways you have never done before, but you need to study the strategy behind the movements and how they can apply when playing the game. To become fluid with your movements you will improve your flexibility, strength, coordination, relaxation, timing, breathing and mental understanding of how it all flows together.
Most people who are not familiar with the practice or have started learning the art from a beginning instructor have no idea of the depth of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and how it can be applied to other areas in their life.
Here in this article I am going to give you a few concepts and how you can apply these lessons in everything that you do.
1- Dealing with Pressure in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
In Jiu Jitsu there are times when you will feel like you cannot go on maybe even feel a sense of panic. You might have some one who is 50 pounds bigger than you crushing you on the mat and not feel any hope of escape. In the beginning this can be very stressful.
After you learn that this discomfort is not the end of the world and you survive with out injury pretty soon you learn not to panic. You relax and are able to spot holes in your partners game you never thought existed. I watch students as they figure this out and can see their confidence grow sometimes immediately.
When this happens, it is no different that when you get stressed out at work or in an argument with a colleague. The skills you learned on the mat will teach you how to relax and find a solution to the problem.
2- Building Confidence with Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
When you start Gracie Jiu Jitsu there will be techniques that you cannot do. Sometimes it may feel like you never will and to be totally honest there are some things that you most likely will not be able to do. That is not important you learn to play the game around your abilities. As your flexibility, strength and coordination increases so will your abilities and this is where your confidence really starts to grow.
Now you may never be able to do an upside-down flying tornado armbar but if you are always improving you will be on the right path. As your confidence starts to grow and you learn how to overcome different hurdles that sometime may seem impossible this will show in every area in your life.
3- Applying the Idea of Yielding In Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
I always enjoy hearing stories about Grand Master Helio Gracie. He was 139 pounds which is very small in the competitive world of Jiu Jitsu. He used to beat many stronger athletes 50 even 100 pounds larger than he was. This may seem impossible. Think about this if you are an average 180-pound guy fairly athletic and are matched up against a 250-pound NFL linebacker who wants to take your head off what do you think the chances are? Well Master Helio knew how to deal with these situations and it was not his strength that made him come out on top.
Of course, there are many assets he had in his corner; here we are going to address the idea of yielding. Yielding is a cool concept and is in every from of fighting or physical movement. What I mean by yielding in this sense is imagine you and I were in a pushing match where you we were both trying to push the other backwards. Normally who ever the bigger stronger person with the most leverage is will win this battle.
The idea of yielding though is to not get caught up in this fight to see who is the bigger meat head. With yielding when you push me, I move out of the way of this force and re-position myself to attack where you are not as strong. This is a concept that Master Helio was an expert in. This is how you defeat bigger stronger opponents.
Seems like a great idea but how do I apply this in every day life? This is where it gets interesting. In order to be good at yielding you need to be able to listen to your body in every detail. Where is your root? Is your structure aligned? Are you relaxed? Is your breath calm? Is your mind present? When you learn to become more hyper sensitive to your physical and mental state your intuition increases and this is where the practice really starts to expand its applications.
When you can see these things internally you also start to see them more in those around you. Imagine we are having a conversation and I say something that unsettles you. If I can pick on this right away it is easy to adjust the conversation and keep the conversation flowing smoothly. If I am not paying attention or caring how you respond pretty soon, I could be so far off on a tangent that you want to slap me upside the head.
This is how you can use yielding in all of your relationships and interactions with whoever you come in to contact with. This is a powerful application and learning to use this idea in your life will offer many rewards.
These are just a few of the benefits of this practice. If you are not already training and have any desire to jump in to this amazing practice go find a reputable teacher and have a great journey. If you are in the Portland area come check us out, we have a great community and have been around for over 25 years.