Training in MMA for Fitness: Add Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the Mix


Throwing haymakers and rolling with the punches aren’t enough if you’re training in MMA. You must truly mix it up, and if you want to know how, try the gentle art of locks, hooks, and chokes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Not only is it an effective way of fighting, it’s also an effective way of training. You push, pull, and lift, with the kicker of chokes and taps. If clanging and banging the weight plates aren’t meant for you just yet, why not get fit by fighting?

It helps me use all the components of fitness I improve upon at the gym; it could help you with your fitness goals too, and don’t be surprised if you learn a few life lessons along the way. There’s lots you discover about yourself by actively seeking discomfort.

Gets You Fighting Fit

At times, attacking requires pushing strength, defending requires pulling strength, taking an opponent down requires lifting strength, and maneuvering requires agility and stamina.

In one roll, you challenge your muscular endurance, musculoskeletal strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, and flexibility. Simply put, it trains you to tap into strength, stamina, agility, and flexibility to survive the round. You quite literally fight your way to fitness.

Teaches You How To Defend Yourself

Brazilian jiu-jitsu gives the small guy as big a chance as the “big guy.” It is a way for those seemingly inferior to use technique over strength. In sticky situations, incapacitating an agitated and physically superior assailant without throwing a single punch is a worthwhile skill to have in your arsenal.

Reminds You To Be Humble in Victory and Defeat

An ego does more than make you look like a butt-hurt buffoon, it reflects an impaired ability to be objective and rational, and that has consequences in every avenue of life, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

When you’re outworked and choked out blind by a person younger, shorter, or weaker than you, admitting you fell short is the hardest; however, getting past that mental block is all it takes for you to regain the humility we lose along the way.

Teaches You the Essence of Respect

Once you become a student of the gentle art, the learnings begin. Respect follows as a natural by-product of acknowledging those superior in terms of wisdom and skill. It doesn’t matter who taps whom or who comes out on top.

You learn with every partner, with every drill and every roll, and you soon learn that anyone who gets you closer to where you want to be deserves your gratitude and respect.

Teaches You To Be Patient

Every technique takes dedication, days, and weeks to get right, even if it’s as basic as shrimping. You never get it right on the first try or the second or the third.

You could quit midway, or you could accept that putting in the work over time is the only way forward. In a world trapped in end-of-the-day deadlines, quick fixes, and shortcuts to success, a bit of patience could go a long way.

Leads to Self-Discovery

While training in MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu unravels much like life and its highs and lows; the vicissitudes might seem vicious. However, when you compare Day 1 of your training to present day (even if it’s as early as a month), there will always be growth: as a martial artist and as a human being.

The colors you earn on your belt, the people you meet on the mats, and all the times you keep going when you cannot keep adding to this perpetual stream of consciousness that pushes you to be just a little better, every day.


If you’re considering training in MMA and looking for a way to develop your ground game, give Brazilian jiu-jitsu a roll. Unlike Adele, rolling in the deep might give you more than what you’re looking for.

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Rahul Chitrakar View All →

Discovering the nuances of life through the lens of fitness in its myriad expressions

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