1. When it comes to physical fitness, it produces results.
No one can deny the gratifying results that BJJ produces for its practitioners. At first, people hesitate because they are either uncomfortable with the full contact factor or they don’t believe it will really help them get in shape. But after a few classes of embarrassment from realizing how out of shape they are, most people drive themselves to continue and it doesn’t take long to see that pounds dropping. After you get that ball rolling, it’s hard to back away because you develop the fear of returning to the state you were in before you started training. If anything, you slowly progress to training more often and with higher intensity to maximize your fitness results – that’s not including the supplementary exercising you may have to do depending on your commitment level to competing.
- The unexplainable feeling after a good class of technique and rolling.
Think about how you feel after a jiu-jitsu class. Besides the obvious complaints of “sore” and “tired”, there is also an unexplainable feeling of joy. Sure, this is a feeling that you can get from other fulfilling exercises, but there is something special about walking out of the academy after a class and feeling good. You feel like you just worked hard, got an exercise and probably learned something new – there is no such thing as a BJJ class where you learn absolutely nothing. This is a valuable feeling that you get addicted to, subconsciously or not, when you do a jiu-jitsu class.
- You meet interesting people from various backgrounds.
One of the additional benefits to all the great exercise you do, and the techniques you learn, are all the pleasant people you meet. You develop deeper camaraderie than in most other activities. Rolling with people creates valuable levels of trust and you feel like you’re part of a team, and in some cases, a family. This is, for many, a valuable quality that can be nurtured by continual participation in classes.
- The desire to improve technically.
Just like with the fitness results, as you see your jiu-jitsu game improving, you will want to keep coming back into the gym to refine your skill. You will also probably develop friendly rivalries in the process with teammates. You will want to come back until you’re able to beat some guys or execute certain techniques. This eventually becomes an addiction as you see positive results. That’s why people become unmotivated to train when they hit a plateau and see little improvement.
- The feeling that you are part of something bigger - the international BJJ community.
Many people, including professionals, not only find jiu-jitsu appealing because of its fitness and technical qualities, but also because it immerses you into a huge international community. There are many memes online that demonstrate the type of connection jiu-jitsu athletes have between each other, even when they have never met before. The most popular of these is a photo of Leonardo Dicaprio from The Great Gatsby holding up a glass of champagne for a toast. In writing it says “the look you spot someone who also does jiu-jitsu”. You join an international community of people who understand you, and you understand them.