It’s well documented and proven that doing sports has many benefits for anyone’s health and well-being, resulting in higher productivity at work. When you feel good, you’re more likely to have a better state of mind, which makes you perform better in every aspect. We want to argue that some physical activities will serve you better and improve some soft skills needed to succeed in business.
Martial arts have been surrounded by an aura of mysticism since ever, and many claim to grant the practitioners supernatural powers, both physical and mental. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu claims to do nothing of that sort, but its masters, teachers, and practitioners all claim to gain so much from it, from amazing fitness and weight loss to dealing with addiction and more. Perhaps that’s why we witness BJJ’s surge in popularity in the past decade, with many famous people and celebrities practicing the art.
So why do we think that Jiu Jitsu will teach you a few lessons about business and will also make you a better human being? Here’s why:
Your health and fitness will improve drastically
Practicing BJJ is tough, at least to begin with. When you start, you don’t know how to move yet, and being a grappling art, it’s usually a huge challenge to most beginners. And even after you get used to it and become much more proficient in moving your body, BJJ is a full-body workout, where your muscles all work simultaneously, with your core muscles always at play.
It’s so playful and addictive that you don’t have to force yourself to train, and most practitioners report massive weight drops. Due to the high-intensity nature, one cannot cheat oneself with bad eating habits, drinking alcohol regularly, and not sleeping well. It’s impossible to perform well, and in Jiu Jitsu, you constantly get checked. Therefore once committing to BJJ, most practitioners change their lifestyle completely and report drastic improvements to their health and fitness levels. This will definitely translate to better performance in business too!
Keeping your composure under stress
Doing business is stressful, unlike a 9 am to 5 pm job where you do your hours and get paid regardless of whether your company makes money or not. Yes, you might have deadlines that might make you lose your cool, but it’s not even comparable to running a business through good and bad times. Uncertainty and constantly being unbalanced and challenged are the core of any business. If you don’t adapt, don’t reinvent yourself, you lose, you die.
Jiu Jitsu is a petri dish for breeding this feeling. You’re constantly off-balance, you’re being put in bad positions, and your job is to turn the table in your favor, which means to either escape or even find a way to get an advantage from a seemingly bad position. In order to do that, one must analyze the situation, assess the problem, find possible solutions that he practiced for, slowly create the conditions needed for him, waits for the right timing, and bam, hail supreme! Isn’t it exactly like that in business too? In both cases, this process is on the verge of impossible when losing your composure. Being put in this situation several times a class, several times a week changes one’s perspective and ability to function under stress.
Humility is an important lesson Jiu Jitsu teaches you and is very important for business too!
As you’re being checked constantly, there’s no place for BS in Jiu Jitsu. If you have holes in your game, people will discover them. If you’re not as good as you are, they will discover it too. And also, no matter how good you are, there are people much better than you out there – even in your gym. Even more so, you need to come in touch with these people if you want to get better. So, in essence, being humbled is the way to improve.
What does it have to do with business? First of all, you must have a clear and accurate understanding of your and your company’s present capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. You’ll need to know where you are compared to your competitors, and you’ll also need to know your employees’ weaknesses and strengths. You’ll need to learn even from people below you in the hierarchy (your subordinates who have less experience than you might know something you don’t or understand things differently).
Problem solving is an extremely important soft skill
It is a learnt skill too, that can be developed. Even though some people are more naturally talented in this aspect, it’s still a skill that can be honed. Any thinking game that has a strategy behind will help to keep your problem-solving mechanism sharp! BJJ, much like playing chess, has so many strategies, and it’s harder to predict more than two moves in advance (when you’re playing against someone at least as skillful as you are). Being challenged all the time makes you better. It will develop your skills and make them into a habit.
Self confidence boost
Practicing Jiu Jitsu is reported to boost one’s self-confidence for all of the said above (including the subconscious notion that you can defend yourself). Being confident is proven to contribute to success in business meetings, in pitching an idea, and in leading people. When you act from a place of confidence, one is more prone to think with clarity and weigh all options. There’s less need to prove yourself to others, and you’re more likely to make the right choice. Also, confidence translates to the ability to admit defeat and stand back up after failure, learning and making yourself better.
Practicing toward perfection while knowing how to pull it off even when it’s not
Perhaps the most famous image of a warrior, a martial artist, who lives by a code of perfecting his skill and spirit, is the samurai. This ideal became so popular in business, and books like “the Book of Five Rings” and “Bushido – Way of the Samurai” became bestsellers amongst business circles in the east and west.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that draws its origins from Japan, follows a lot of the same concepts: practice meticulously to perfection, train with sincerity, timing is paramount, and flow is too. Meaning, you practice a technique 1000 times, and even more, in order to master it. However, it won’t work without timing, and most importantly, it’s impossible to perform the technique in its perfect form! It’ll never come out as practiced, and you’ll need to modify it on the spot to make it happen. You’ll need to abandon the form in favor of success. That’s a very powerful lesson – practice towards perfection, but don’t let perfectionism paralyze you!
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be a very powerful tool for anyone in business. It’ll improve your wellbeing, and you’ll see the results in your professional and personal life. Moreover, it’s going to be fun! We encourage anyone who feels that they need a healthy change in their life to try it out.