In the limited research detailing the health benefits of BJJ, an article found in the National Library of Medicine states,
“Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes had low body fat, without differences between novices and experts or between elite and non-elite athletes. The mesomorphic component was predominant. Aerobic power was similar to that of other grappling combat sports and did not seem to be influenced by the Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete’s competitive level.”Andreato LV, Lara FJD, Andrade A, Branco BHM. Physical and Physiological Profiles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes: a Systematic Review. Sports Med Open. 2017
In short I took away this as meaning Jiu Jitsu regardless of where you stand physically will mold you into a physically “healthier” individual. Not exactly a brain buster. That if you move your body you’ll be healthier. But to go perhaps boldly far deeper than a NLM study I would like to say the effect of a healthy body promotes a healthy mind. And a healthy mind, given we’re making good choices, promotes a healthy body. So the effects compound one another. Far beyond what you’ll find from a study touting the physical benefits of BJJ is the mental benefit. Which isn’t talked about enough. For me going to jiu-jitsu class is like church. You got the fear of god put in you from all the killers staring back at you from the mat.
But armed with this knowledge of techniques you stand a good a chance as anyone at submitting your opponent. And that’s what makes BJJ in my opinion a reason why it’s so good for fitness. Because beyond thinking, “oh I gotta get this many pull-ups at the gym today,” or “I gotta beat my bench record today.” None of that matters when all your focused on in jiu-jitsu is, “how am I gonna survive?” And survival, that fear that it brings is a far better teacher than the weight rack at your local VASA fitness. And what’s more incredible, and what keeps people fit and healthy is when they learn to control that fear and when the switch from survival turns into beating your opponent, that, that, is something intangibly special and even spiritual.