80 percent. 8 out of ten. 4 out of 5. According to US News and World Report, that’s the number of New Years resolutions that fail by February 1st of the same year.
Most of us already know it, anyway, if the stat holds true. The reason why it happens might seem less obvious, however.
If we’re honest with ourselves, the reason is that most resolutions involve a dramatic, difficult-to-maintain lifestyle change.
Drink less. Eat better. Exercise more.
We buy gym memberships and protein powders, adopt fad diets we probably won’t follow. At least not for long. These kinds of resolutions have a way of bleeding into daily life that makes them inconvenient to our overall lifestyles. Often they accomplish singular goals. Such goals generally don’t fit well into the rest of life. This builds resistance, undermines the resolution, and eventually shuts it down.
Humans are creatures of habit. Unless the resolution can strengthen and add benefit in all areas of life, or restructure all our habits at once, it will probably fail.
Try something new and different this year, as your current resolution to get healthy is probably failing. Something that will make you better at all aspects of life, and get you in shape in the process.
Here are 5 reasons you should ditch the gym membership and start training jiu-jitsu instead.
Jiu-Jitsu works out your body AND your mind.
When most people think of getting healthy, they think of getting physically fit. But what they often ignore is their mental fitness as a measure of health. Many workout regimens totally ignore this aspect of training. The same way we train our muscles to perform athletically, we also need to train our minds to perform intellectually.
Jiu-jitsu requires using your mind to solve problems in real time against a resisting partner. This physical challenge requires absolute mental focus. It requires the mind to strategize and problem solve under pressure.
This is why jiu-jitsu is often called “The game of human chess.” The problem-solving skills and confidence you gain in training have massive benefits in every other aspect of life, too. Because jiu–jitsu creates a healthy, stress-free mind to accompany the fit body it also creates.
This means every second you spend on the mats provides tangible benefits in your work, creative, and family life, too.
Jiu-jitsu comes with a community of like-minded individuals on the same path
There is no relationship like the one you develop with your training partners. There’s a special trust required to put your body into vulnerable positions with someone who is using it to learn a martial arts move.
In jiu-jitsu, training partners are both practice opponents and profound partners in learning the intricate techniques and strategies that make the art so special.
People from all walks of life come together on the mats, and soon enough they come together off the mats as friends.
Business partnerships are made. Lifelong friendships are formed. Networks of skilled craftsmen and women are developed. A jiu-jitsu academy operates like a specialized village within the city around it. You never know who you’ll meet on its mats, or what other skills and gifts they bring with them. Such people will come to have a lasting positive impact on your life, often in ways that you could never have imagined before you started training.
Jiu-jitsu is a long term activity with never-ending new goals to pursue
There is not a more complex hobby or activity to pursue than training jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu involves applying leverage, strategy, and timing to overcome a potential deficit in size or strength and gain control of the adversary.
The human body’s potential to create leverage shifts with each position, and in relation to each position an opponent’s body makes. Thus there are endless new potential ways to create leverage inherent to the grappling process. This means that no matter how much jiu-jitsu you “master,” there will always be more to learn.
“Master” is said in quotation marks because no matter how proficient you become at a given technique or position, the leverage and details can always be refined further. Jiu-jitsu has layers. Each level of understanding only serves to remind you of how many deeper levels still remain. Like a master craftsman who spends their life perfecting every detail of their craft, the jiu-jitsu practitioner spends their life refining their technique and learning new useful lessons to apply to their life in the process.
Jiu-jitsu’s depth will keep you interested and on the mats for the rest of your life. Many academies have students in their fifties, sixties, and even seventies. Jiu-jitsu grandmasters Carlos and Helio Gracie both practiced the art right up until the days before their deaths, both in their nineties.
If practiced correctly, jiu-jitsu can become a lifelong companion, providing strength, perspective, community, entertainment, health, and vitality. No single activity can do more for your entire existence than stepping on the mats daily to train.
Ditch the gym and start training jiu-jitsu instead
Take the time to find a school that fits your schedule and goals. Whether your goal is to become a seasoned professional combat sports athlete, a better parent, or a better overall you, we have plenty of room for you on our team, man woman or child.
Jiu-jitsu will change your life, guaranteed. Make a resolution that sticks this time. Your team will help you stick to it, and have a blast in the process. Don’t forget to show up looking great in a fresh War Tribe Gi!