The Oxford Dictionary defines Resilience as, “The capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” In today’s technology dependent environments we tend to find ourselves increasingly physically stagnant, mentally numb, socially isolated, and spiritually lost. But did you know that you can change this? Did you know that you can find resilience in jiu-jitsu and that it can literally change your life? Much like any other skill, Jiu-Jitsu requires practice and is perishable but with perseverance and focus, Jiu-Jitsu can provide opportunity to hit something referred to as the 4 Pillars of Resilience: Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual.
The Physical Pillar
The Physical Pillar is the most obvious pillar that can be improved via Jiu-Jitsu due to the fact that this sport is physical by nature. Jiu-Jitsu combines cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, mobility, and strength. These unique elements provide a physical stimulus that is more fun than your standard running on a treadmill or lifting. Regardless of how the Jiu-Jitsu community as a whole likes to taut technique conquering, all athleticism is certainly a good thing to have at your disposal in a fight. By getting out there and training you can improve your mood simply by breaking a sweat.
The Mental Pillar
The Mental Pillar comes in 2 forms with Jiu-Jitsu: 1) mental toughness to survive being the nail and 2) problem solving that is needed if your goal is to be the hammer. In Jiu-Jitsu we talk about being the nail and the hammer. The nail is when you are defensive and probably struggling as your opponent is trying to choke you, joint lock your or crush you with oppressive weight. The mental toughness to stay calm is imperative for your survival in such a circumstance. This is a stress inoculation the same you would get when you go to the doctor.
The problem solving piece is also what keeps Jiu-Jitsu athletes excited to return to practice. Figuring out how to submit your opponent is the same as trying to solve a puzzle that is trying to solve you back. Both of these sides of the Mental Pillar can be used in everyday life. Stresses at work or school will seem to pale in comparison to dealing with someone who is trying to choke you.
The Social Pillar
The Social Pillar is affected by Jiu-Jitsu. In day to day practice we put each other’s health and safety in each other’s hands. Even in sparring we must watch for each other’s safety. This combined with going through these struggles together naturally builds bonds. This social pillar crosses race, class, gender, etc. The vast majority of my friends have shed blood, sweat, and tears on these mats with me. This new aspect may show you a new perspective on life.
The Spiritual Pillar
The Spiritual Pillar is most often associated with a person’s religion or relationship with their God. You might not think it, but BJJ can actually be a great way to nurture spirituality. What better reason is there to practice BJJ than spiritual enlightenment! Jiu-Jitsu can help reinforce the spiritual pillar because it can serve to improve your sense of purpose by being committed to a goal, and team mates.
These are just some thoughts I have on the matter. This however is a conversation so feel free to share your thoughts on the matter! I look forward to learning from you!