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Is BJJ good for weight loss?

It’s the time of the year where people start making New Year’s Resolutions to shed some extra fat. After a year where everyone in Sutherland and across Sydney were locked inside for 5 months, more people than ever will be looking for ways to slim down. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a fabulous way to do that. 

There are many ways to lose fat. Restrictive diets, extended cardio, weight lifting and more. Unfortunately, most people find all this arduous – and fair enough! What’s special about Jiu-Jitsu is that it’s a way to burn a lot of calories while you’re having lots of fun.

And of course, that’s the beginning of the benefits. You’ll also be building muscles and core strength, making new friends, and learning self-defence skills.

gracie jiu jitsu miranda adults class

What is Jiu-Jitsu about? 

Gracie Miranda is a Jiu-Jiu academy in the Sutherland Shire. Our mats are home to people who train martial arts for a variety of reasons. Some want to learn self-defence, others are after tournament glory. Many do so as a satisfying way to stay fit and active.

If you’re not a martial arts expert, you may not know what Jiu-Jitsu even is. No problem! BJJ is a grappling martial art which mostly takes place on the ground. There is no striking in Jiu-Jitsu, meaning you won’t be learning how to do spinning elbows or roundhouse kicks. Instead, you’ll learn armbars and chokes.

That Jiu-Jitsu is devoid of striking has important practical outcomes. First, it significantly lowers your risk of injury and head trauma. And since the grappling takes place on the ground, you won’t be sidelined by throws or slams, as can sometimes happen in Judo and wrestling. 

With safety being so high, BJJ enables you to grapple at full energy with another resisting opponent. (After you’ve spent enough time training, of course.) As you can imagine, this is extremely demanding on your body. You’ll work your anaerobic cardiovascular system, as well as almost every muscle in your body. 

You’ll burn a lot of calories. 

A quick note. Many people who profess interest in starting BJJ training often say they won’t do so until they “get in better shape”. Remember, Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts gets you in shape! You would never say, “I want to try yoga but I’m not flexible enough” or “I want to go to go to the gym but I’m not strong enough.” 

What are some tips for a new BJJ practitioner? 

If you’re wanting to try martial arts for the purpose of improving your fitness and health, there are a few things you should know.

Jiu-Jitsu won’t bulk you up. BJJ is excellent for weight loss, and you will grow some muscle. Many people who train Jiu-Jitsu report improved core strength and increased muscle definition. But be aware, Jiu-Jitsu is not an effective way to put on kilograms of muscle. 

You need to sleep. This is important, especially for newcomers. Jiu-Jitsu is good for weight loss because it’s taxing on your body. In order for your body to adapt to the stressors of martial arts, you need to let it rest. If you’re starting out on your BJJ journey, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and drinking enough water.

You need to eat. Sleeping is one part of the recovery equation, eating is another. Make sure you fuel your body with quality protein and vegetables. This will help with fat loss and body recovery. 

Stretch. If Jiu-Jitsu has one downside, it’s that it can tighten some of your muscles. Since BJJ is often about curling your body up, it’s common for practitioners to get tight upper backs and hips. Thankfully, this is an avoidable problem. Make sure to stretch after class or before bed – even 10 or 20 minutes can make a big difference. 

BJJ is for body and mind. It’s easy to get caught up in the physical aspect of martial arts, since it is an intensely physical endeavor. But Jiu-Jitsu is equally about strengthening your mind. Grappling requires a deep focus that makes it a near meditative experience, and the feeling of improvement yielded from learning and honing techniques is a consistent mood lifter. Enjoy it all!

If you’re in the Sutherland Shire and are interested in martial arts, come into Gracie Miranda for a free trial class