BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), a martial art centered on fighting on the ground and grappling, concentrates on the skill of dominating one’s opponents using skills that make their opponent concede—exhausted, wiped out, and completely drained.
It is commonly known as the “gentle art”—despite “gentle” not being the best word for its fighters—because it gives chance for the weaker person to use skills such as chokes and locks to attack a stronger opponent.
You may think meditation is something that monks and gurus do.
However, it can be the key to opening a whole lot of potential inside of you.
What is meditation and how can it help you?
Meditation is an exercise where practices such as mindfulness or focusing attention on a particular item, idea or activity to instruct focus and awareness are used to attain an intellectually clear and emotionally peaceful and steady state.
In both practices, you can connect meditation with BJJ and have this calm sense of serenity and awareness help you annihilate your opponents.
How Can Meditation Help your BJJ Practice?
Meditation is one of the most potent practices to help enhance your martial arts skills and your life.
- Meditation sculpts the brain. Meditation is as efficient for the brain as exercise. Dr.Sara Lazar, an Assistant in Psychology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, reported having found that the regions of the brain associated with sensory processing and attention were thinner in the control subjects (One way to design an experiment is by using a control group, or group of subjects that do not get the treatment being studied in the study. The experimental group does get the treatment, and then the two groups are compared to see if the treatment had an effect) than in the meditators. This gave weight to claims that meditation can play a role in reducing stress and improving emotional regulation.
- Meditation helps you relax. Most BJJ beginners are excessively tense and can get tired much faster than those who’ve been training for a while. Although they think they need to do more cardio to be able to last longer, cardio isn’t a lasting solution.
When you’re tense, you burn more energy and need extra oxygen for your muscles. This builds more excess work for your heart than necessary. This sort of concentration will help you engage only the muscles you need, when you need to.
- Meditation increases your awareness. Most people cannot concentrate on just one thing for a long time because our current lives always overload us with sensory stimulation. This affects BJJ practice a lot. To counter this problem of not concentrating or lacking awareness, you have to practice focusing on one stimulus. The more regularly and deeper you meditate, the more you’ll begin noticing small things about your sparring partner.
- Meditation makes you grow emotionally. Miyamoto Musashi, the famous Japanese swordsman, philosopher, and strategist killed his counterpart Seijuro Sensei because of lack of emotional control. When you practice the routine of meditation, you are exercising peace and relaxation in your mind and body. This is worthwhile when your partner is passing your guard or setting up a choke. Your breathing will be deeper, lower, and you will be more capable to counter.
How to Meditate and Make it a Habit
Good posture is important in meditation. The different postures to meditate in are sitting on a chair with your back away from the seat, sitting in a kneeling position with your shins on the floor, sitting with one leg across your opposite thigh or bringing each foot to the opposite thigh.
Whatever posture you set yourself in, make sure that your spine is straight, your shoulders are back, and your chest pointing slightly upwards. Every time you sit to meditate, try to move as little as possible.
There are two methods of meditation:
- Watching your breath: In order to focus, look up slightly as if you are looking at the point in between your eyebrows. With this method, you can let the body inhale and exhale without controlling your breath and relax at will. If you make it a habit, your concentration and relaxation will improve and will make you feel peaceful.
- Feeling the stillness: One more technique to use is to be aware of pauses in between your thoughts. Awareness of these pauses is the key to feeling at peace.
Establishing Meditation Practice
Here are a few simple ways to help maintain fruitful meditation practice:
- Connect meditation to your daily activities. Activities such as showering or brushing your teeth are daily habits that do not need much thinking. You can link meditation to one of those tasks to reduce the effort needed to initiate the meditation time.
- Use guided meditations. Guided meditations such asHeadspace Appand Guided Vipassana Meditationcan be good ways to settle into this practice. They will lead you through the whole process of meditation, which can free your mind and let you give in to the experience.
- Use an app. Using apps like Headspace App and Mindfulness App can help in attaining our meditation goals. These apps allow you to select favorable sounds, tones, and break bells.
- Schedule your meditation. If you do not have meditation on your schedule, it can be easier to put other activities ahead. So placing it in your time table makes sure that it doesn’t get slotted around.
Benefits of Meditation to a Martial Artist
- Healing powers: The effectiveness of meditation in healing martial artists is immense. Meditating expands your self-awareness and lets out free-flowing energy. It creates mental and emotional fitness. You become even more flexible and open to a new life where you are in control.
- Remove negative thoughts and enhances self-control: Meditation helps one to clear thoughts and feelings that stir negativity. Meditation relaxes your mind and brings you to focus on the here and the now—and the positive.
- Awakens your conscious self: Meditation helps you interrogate your intentions, your attitude, and responsibilities that complement your developing power.
- Reviewing things in your mind: Meditation helps to turn things around and replay moves with clarity. It helps you isolate all things, making your engagements truly intuitive.
Meditation in BJJ
Meditation incorporates and plays a big role in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
Meditation can help your BJJ practices and help you overall become a more centered athlete and person.
If you have practiced meditation as BJJ martial artist, please comment below and share with us your experiences.