Confidence comes from experience.  Knowing you can defend yourself is a game-changer.  More importantly, the personal growth you’ll experience from constantly challenging yourself- getting out of your comfort zone– will shine through in all areas of your life.


You’ll have a far deeper and richer friendship with a Jiu Jitsu buddy (who tries feverishly to choke you) than with Bob from your fantasy football league- even though he brings his boysenberry home-brew on draft day.


Imagine swimming.  With a St. Bernard.  Who’s trying to drown you.  It’s a great workout. 

Mental Toughness

You will undoubtedly be put in compromised, uncomfortable positions.  Your ego will beg you to give up.  But you don’t.  You realize you’re still alive, and that you can endure much more than you thought.

Critical Thinking

Jiu Jitsu is dynamic problem solving under stress; it’s human chess.  Strategy and technique trump power and aggression, but you’ve got to develop razor-sharp focus, and learn to think quickly under pressure.  And you will.


Jiu Jitsu is a blast, but it’s hard.  Getting good at it takes commitment, effort, and humility.  If you don’t learn to check your ego at the door, you’re in for a long day when the 135 lb IT specialist wraps you up like an anaconda.

Jiu Jitsu allows us to confront our weakest self, in order to uncover our best self.


Not to be confused with flexibility– mobility is strength throughout the entire range of a movement.

Jiu Jitsu develops phenomenal hip and shoulder flexibility, core strength, and coordination.  Think wrestling meets yoga, but with chokes.

Stress Relief

Training is the ultimate palette cleanser for a rough day.  I guarantee you won’t be worrying about those TPS reports when you’re fending off an armlock.  The best part?  Everyone there wants to be there, is excited to train, and genuinely happy to see you.

What’s more, regular exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.  It’s a proven mood enhancer.  We were designed to move, so do your body a favor and get on the mat!

Long-Term Goal Setting

It takes a long time to earn a Black Belt in BJJ.  Luckily, it’s fascinating, so sticking around isn’t hard to do.  The belt system is a great tool to keep you motivated, and public recognition for your progress is extremely rewarding.

Having a coach and teammates who are truly invested in your progress is an added bonus in  keeping you on track.


The truth is, most fights go to the ground, whether the combatants want to or not. Carlos Machado famously said, “one way or another we’re going to hit the ground, and you’ll be in my world.  The ground is the ocean, I am the shark, and most people don’t even know how to swim.”

No other martial art’s effectiveness has been proven time and again like Jiu Jitsu.  It works.  Nothing about it is theoretical or mystical.  The success of Jiu Jitsu is incredibly well documented.

The best part is that the strength of Jiu Jitsu lies in technique, strategy, and leverage- not strength, size, and aggression.  It’s been refined to the point where smaller, weaker practitioners can neutralize and even defeat larger, stronger opponents.

That means it’s great for people from all walks of life, no matter age, gender, level of athleticism, or disposition.



author: Peter McHugh

Professor Pete McHugh is the owner and Lead Instructor of McHugh BJJ in Mt. laurel NJ. He is a black belt under BJJ & MMA legend Ricardo Almeida.


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