How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Can Help Guard Your Teen’s Mental Health

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The connection between participating in martial arts and improved mental health in teens is backed by science. Many practitioners feel that Jiu Jitsu is a legitimate form of mental and physical therapy, and can help to guard your teen’s mental health against stress, anxiousness, and emotional drain.

Better Self-Awareness

Movement is essential to Jiu Jitsu, and students are taught to take be extremely intentional in how they move when defending against submissions or improving position. These familiar movements (the shrimp, the umpa, threading the needle, etc) require practitioners to pay attention to how their body moves as well as anticipate the movements of their teammates.

This is a form of meditation that increases self-awareness that can transfer to other areas of teens’ lives outside of the dojo.

Improved Sense of Self-Worth

Today’s teens face many challenges every day, and most of them directly challenge their mental and emotional health. Pressure to excel in school, along with the social pressures of youth, can take a toll on a teen’s self-respect.

It’s essential that they’re equipped with tools to master these challenges. It’s well known that sports are an excellent resource for teens’ mental and physical health. Most exercise done regularly will have a positive effect on self-respect; however, Jiu Jitsu brings more to the table than most other sports and forms of exercise.

As teens master techniques that may have seemed impossible to complete as white belts, they will come to believe in themselves. A healthy level of self-respect allows students not to avoid trying new things and to be better equipped at solving problems. Teens with a poor self-image are more likely to engage in risky behavior and avoid pursuing new ventures that may benefit them.

Smarter Responses to Conflict

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches students how to protect themselves from an attack, but did you know that it can give teens the discipline and understanding to know how to avoid conflict? There’s a mistaken belief floating around about martial arts. Some feel that it may make students violent, but in reality, it’s the opposite.

The traditions practiced in Jiu Jitsu teach students to show respect to their professor and teammates. The self-control taught to students in Jiu Jitsu classes helps them to think with reason and not with emotion. This combined with the self-confidence of knowing you can defeat an opponent is usually all it takes to prevent or diffuse conflict.

As you can see, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is more than just a sport or something fun for teens to do. Increasing your teen’s self-awareness, improving their self-respect, and teaching them better responses to conflict are all things that Jiu Jitsu can deliver. These lessons can stretch on into adulthood, providing teens with a lifetime of wealth in transferable skills.

Published in BJJ Blog
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