Mindsets: Jiu-Jitsu For Wellness

“It’s not who’s good, it’s who’s left.”  ~Chris Haueter

Based on Rickson’s experience with holistic conditioning approaches of Yoga and Ginastica Natural, was somewhat surprised to hear the extent of his back issues in the now famous Joe Rogan podcast. As the interview wore on it was evident that Rickson was basically a solider who had to be willing to fight at any given moment, and his body suffered as you’d expect.

This was the mentality imported from Brazil to United States, and was part of the Jiu-Jitsu culture up until the late 1990s, diminishing as sport Jiu-Jitsu and MMA events took hold.

With Jiu-Jitsu now proven as an essential part of a combative toolbox, the next step is Jiu-Jitsu in my opinion is wellness. Here, the hyper-competitive, dog eat dog Darwinian landscape is diminished in favor of doing to Jiu-Jitsu to help our bodies age with intelligence and grace. The goal being sustainable growth born from wonderful experiences over a lifetime of training:

red belts


2 thoughts on “Mindsets: Jiu-Jitsu For Wellness

  1. This is something I’m struggling with now, coming back from some knee issues that have taken several months to heal up from. In darker times my mindset is that I won’t be able to train BJJ as I get older because it seems no matter how carefully I approach the sport my wellness depends on my training partners and the gym I attend. In brighter times I try to remain hopeful that I will find a fun, relaxing place to train with a wellness-focused mindset. Though, turning dark again, I’m not convinced they exist unless we create them.

    Would you agree that you’re in a unique position due to your rank and experience? Idea being you never lack willing training partners because, hey, everybody wants to train with a black belt and every one of your partners will listen when you ask them to slow down or focus.

    I’ve found it very, very difficult to secure training partners who know how to practice with fun and wellness being primary, and high reps, toughness, and “getting a workout” taking a backseat. So, I fold and train with Johnny Public, and sustain injury despite my best efforts to avoid it.

    What to do? I’m not ready to be convinced that BJJ is gonna cripple me, but my experience certainly points this direction.

    1. Haven’t had a comment in a long time, and it’s from a Tough Guy no less! *ha, ha*

      Rank and experience definitely helps with everything, plus I’m lucky enough to have good genetics.

      Still, I’ve had problems like you, but they were more social in nature (mentally crippling). lol

      The biggest thing is the more your mind is geared towards wellness, the more options you have.

      On the flipside, the more competition based the thinking, the less room there is for taking time off and/or exploring alternative solutions, although I think we’ll see more of this too as sports science grows and longevity is at a premium.

      But yeah, since you’re in a place where you don’t have to freak out over results you can solo drill, watch videos, mellow partner drill, slow roll, grappling dummy, whatever.

      The key is keeping your mind in the game should that be your desire.

      Again, it’s not going to as much of an a + b =c, direct line of improvement, but believe it or not you can still improve a lot by strengthening pathways the ‘results now’ crowd can’t be bothered with, or aware is even an option! =)

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