4 min read

10 Life Lessons Learned on the BJJ Mat

10 Life Lessons Learned on the BJJ Mat
Photo by Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) isn't just about grappling and choking people; it's a breeding ground for life lessons that will knock you off your feet - literally! In this article, we're going to roll with ten insightful life lessons that BJJ imparts to its practitioners. Whether you're a BJJ veteran or a grappling newbie, these lessons will have you pondering the deeper meaning of getting twisted up in funny positions. So, tie your belt.


When you step onto the BJJ mat, your ego has a way of getting humbled faster than a white belt trying to escape a black belt's mount. BJJ teaches us that humility is a vital ingredient in the martial arts stew. It's like discovering that you're not as invincible as you thought you were, and your ego takes a well-deserved tap out.


BJJ is the art of bending your body in ways you never imagined possible. It's a reminder that progress doesn't happen overnight, just like the realization that your stubbornly stiff muscles won't magically transform into rubber bands after a single class. So, keep rolling, keep tapping, and keep grinding. One day you'll look back and realize how far you've come, and your joints will thank you for not giving up.


In BJJ, the only constant is change. It's like trying to catch a slippery fish in a pond while wearing a blindfold - unpredictable and hilarious. Adapting to your opponent's movements is a lesson in thinking on your feet, or rather, thinking with your feet wrapped around their neck. BJJ teaches us to be as flexible as a rubber guard and as adaptable as a chameleon in spandex. And trust me, life will throw unexpected challenges your way, but with the adaptability of a BJJ practitioner, you'll be ready to roll with the punches.


BJJ is like a complex puzzle where you're simultaneously trying to solve the Rubik's Cube and avoid getting choked out. It's a mental and physical game of chess. But don't worry, you don't need to be a grandmaster to understand that sometimes the best solution is to keep calm, breathe, and apply a sneaky armbar when no one's looking. So, the next time life throws a problem your way, remember to channel your inner BJJ strategist and find the submission hold that will bring you victory. Or getting absolutely smashed .... problem not solved.


Patience is a virtue they say, and BJJ is like a crash course in the art of waiting. Waiting for your turn, waiting for your technique to improve, and waiting for the day you finally get promoted. It's a lesson in the slow and steady wins the race, even if the race involves sweaty people rolling around on the ground. Just like it takes time to perfect your BJJ skills, it takes time to achieve greatness in life. So, embrace the journey, take your time, and savor the delicious tap-outs that come your way. I am still waiting.....

Trust and Collaboration

Trusting your training partners in BJJ is like trusting someone not to pop the bubble wrap that's protecting your fragile ego. It's a delicate dance of cooperation and mutual respect. And just like in life, sometimes you have to rely on others and work together to achieve your goals. So, trust your teammates not to go too hard on you, and trust yourself to apply that submission without squishing anyone's delicate parts. Trust me, life's challenges are easier to handle when you have a team of trusted people by your side.

Discipline and Self-control

Discipline in BJJ is like resisting the temptation to eat a dozen donuts after a brutal training session. It's the willpower to keep showing up, even when your body feels like a soggy noodle. BJJ teaches us to control our impulses, like not tapping out just because someone gave us a wedgie from hell. And that same discipline and self-control can be applied to other areas of life, whether it's sticking to a healthy diet or not punching that annoying co-worker who keeps stealing your lunch.

Respecting Boundaries

In BJJ, respecting boundaries is as important as knowing when to wash your gym clothes - vital for everyone's well-being. It's about understanding personal space and not invading it like an overenthusiastic blue belt trying to show off a new technique. And guess what? Life has boundaries too. So, learn to respect them, give people their space, and avoid awkward situations that are harder to escape than a tight armbar.

Overcoming Fear

Fear on the BJJ mat is like a tiny spider crawling on your arm; it may not be a big deal, but it can still make you scream like a banshee. BJJ teaches us to face our fears head-on, whether it's the fear of being submitted or the fear of wearing spandex in public. It's about stepping onto the mat with the courage of a lion, even if deep down you feel like a scared kitten. And as you conquer your fears on the mat, you'll find that fear loses its grip on other areas of life too. So, embrace the fear, laugh in its face, and go for that flying triangle like a fearless ninja.

Celebrating Progress

BJJ is all about celebrating the small victories, like finally submitting someone who always used to crush you. It's like discovering that your cauliflower ears make you look ruggedly handsome instead of just plain weird. BJJ teaches us that progress is not just about the big accomplishments; it's about appreciating the journey, the small wins, and the hilarious moments along the way. So, whether you're crushing it on the mat or conquering life's challenges, don't forget to pat yourself on the back, raise a fist in victory, and celebrate your journey like a true BJJ champ.


BJJ isn't just about armlocks and chokes; it's a hilarious and profound teacher of life lessons. From the humbling experiences to the triumphant victories, the BJJ mat offers a unique perspective on how to navigate the ups and downs of life. So, embrace the humor, soak up the wisdom, and remember that sometimes the best way to learn life's lessons is by rolling around on the ground with sweaty people who are just as clueless as you are.

Keep laughing, keep learning, and keep applying those BJJ life lessons both on and off the mat.