Every once in a while you just feel like choking someone out. However, choking random people is generally frowned upon. Apparently because of this, I’m “no longer welcome at Sizzler” anymore. For many GIs, our first experience with fighting was either in high school or basic training. The prospect of learning how to execute the sweet science of breaking bones was thrilling. In the past, many troops didn’t go beyond what they were required to learn. Thanks to the UFC and other recent promotions, jiu jitsu (sometimes referred to as “murder yoga”) has become more popular among prior servicemembers. Here’s why:
Form of therapy
Many martial arts emphasize having a clear mind and finding your center. The calming repetition of ground drills is like a type of yoga, except you’re learning how to choke people. You burn a lot of calories and increase your strength, flexibility and endurance. Anyone who has spent time on the mat will tell you, these workouts will burn you out and help you sleep. The benefits include: being able to focus on something, increase your physical activity, and form a new circle of friends. These factors have all been clinically proven to help combat depression.
Low impact murder yoga
Unlike boxing or muay thai, jiu jitsu doesn’t really involve striking. Some strikes taught open an opponent up, but you rarely see them used in the gym. This is preferable for those with traumatic brain injury. You can still train to defend yourself without risking extra damage. In addition, there is not a lot of bouncing around, which is much better for the knees.
The mutual trust and friendship you build in the military is second to none. However, “murder yoga” is a close runner-up. You literally put your wellbeing in someone else’s hands. Through this, you make new friends and feel more sense of belonging. You are probably going to meet other Veterans at training or events too. It is a lot of fun to be able to cheer your team mates on during competition. You can mentor new members when you have the experience to do so. Additionally, you can teach self defense to your significant other or younger sibling. As an added benefit, this is a world wide community. I went to a dojo in Peru last year, and the skills, respect and customs I learned here were the same.
In conclusion, you can try jiu jitsu if you’re looking for a new outlet or hobby. Please let us know what other sports you think are awesome!