Among the various forms of mixed martial arts, most Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters train in Brazilian jiujitsu. Looking past the swollen eyes and bloody noses in the Octagon, there is an art form present, and it lies among the teachings of the sport.
“There is so much more to jiujitsu than learning choke holds and arm bars,” said Alexander Miller, owner of Divinus Lux Jiu Jitsu in Greenwood. “It teaches humility, discipline and concentration. It teaches patience and quick thinking. All your fears disappear when you are on that mat, and it is just you against your own pride.”
Those are the bonuses of jiujitsu; they are not usually what get people in the door.
Miller admitted that most potential participants are intrigued by UFC or want to learn to defend themselves. Maybe they have had a traumatic experience or have been bullied at school.
Little do they know that when they join a jiujitsu gym, they became a part of a tightknit community.
“It becomes addicting for sure,” Miller said. “You become a part of a community and culture, and we hold each other accountable.”
Most people have no idea about the incredible health benefits of jiujitsu, including, of course, weight control.
“The workout can be pretty intense, so weight loss just sort of happens naturally,” Miller said, adding that jiujitsu also is an excellent cardio exercise. “It’s diverse and works out every part of your body.”
So as you learn to defend yourself, you will inevitably also get in shape.
Another aspect of jiujitsu that might come as a surprise is its ability to level everyone out. But what exactly does that mean? There is no “too fat” or “too skinny.” No one cares how much money you make or don’t make. Your political views don’t matter on the mat either, and neither does your age.
Miller explained that he has plenty of older students who can take out students half their age.
Miller’s students range from 7 to 90, and jiujitsu, by the way, is not just a man’s sport. He has plenty of female participants as well.
“Leave your ego at the door, because there is no room for that in jiujitsu. The mat has a way of taking you down a peg,” he noted.
Students gain an incredible amount of self-confidence from submitting – defeating – someone who is considered to be stronger, younger or more fit than they are.
“Being strong is important, of course, but so much of jiujitsu is about technique. You can take out someone stronger than you if you have the right strategy in mind,” Miller said.
He explained that there is a “technical way to fall” as well, “something you will learn in jiujitsu that could save your life. There is a right and a wrong way to fall.”
These strategies, Miller pointed out, spill over into life itself. Maybe you are dealing with an issue that is making you want to “tap out” and you feel as though you are being “submitted” by this problem. You have got to keep training. You will get better and your situation is workable. You aren’t stuck there.
There is a connection between life on the mat and life off. There is correct way to fall. And when you feel the weight of the world on top of you, you have to dig deep and move it.
For more information on Divinus Lux Jiu Jitsu in Greenwood, visit www.divinusluxjiujitsu.com or call 859-240-7671.
By Theresa Stratford