Totowa MMA: A look inside NJ United Mixed Martial Arts Academy

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (and you) vs. Depression!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training isn’t just about getting a great workout and learning self-defense. It’s also about developing an awesome support-network of friends and training partners who can help you through rough times and states of mind!

While it’s natural to be discouraged sometimes, some of us have it a lot worse. That’s because clinical, chronic depression is more than just being “discouraged” sometimes. Its causes can be numerous, but it can also be as hard to get rid of as it is nebulous – in other words, people with depression aren’t always sure why they feel bad. And contrary to some of the martial arts pump-up articles you may have read, jiu-jitsu is not necessarily a cure for depression. True, some people have had their depression lessened or perhaps cured by jiu jitsu. But hey I’ll be a realist – sometimes depression isn’t necessarily alleviated by a tough training session where someone is trying to choke or armlock you! But even though jiu-jitsu may not be the magic wand you’re looking for, it is a way of staying connected to the network of your training family, and a way of reinforcing the fact that you are not defined by or are a slave to your feelings.

While I haven’t struggled with the problems of clinical depression, I’ll admit that I’ve gone through some pretty depressing times when I was simply trying to do too much in too small a timeframe. As others can definitely admit, being a full-time student with a full-time job was more than intense. This lifestyle led me to a lot of desk work, which in turn led to back cramps and injuries (some say that “sitting is the new smoking”, and I agree!). This imbalance in my habits led to imbalance in my body, and thus imbalance in my mind. Those certainly aren’t problems that can be solved by an armlock or a choke. However, consistent jiu-jitsu training would have provided the mental, physical, and social balance that would have stopped health problems before they started.

Life is bigger than depression issues, but it’s tough to realize that when you’re up to your eyebrows in depression. Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an experience that gives you challenges, puzzles, and relationships to take you out of that mentality, AND gives you the health you need to battle depression off the mat!

So in closing, I will admit that jiu-jitsu alone may not always solve your individual mental or spiritual problems. But what it will do is provide you with a a healthy body and a healthy, strategically thinking mind that will definitely help you solve your life problems and slay the inner demons that depression can bring. To delve further into this, check out this short article in which one user sums things up accurately and realistically:

“Thank you for posting this, I have struggled with BJJ for about a year and depression much longer. I can attest to every word you say and it is my great shame that I have taken couple months off to ‘get right’. The longer it goes on the harder it becomes…despite knowing (and most importantly) FEELING the benefits after a roll.”

Come train at NJ United Mixed Martial Arts and take advantage of our 7-day free trial offer! Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or casual student, you will benefit from training in our friendly, professional, and ego-free environment. Call us at 973-638-1570 to schedule your first class, and visit us on the web at for more info.

JJ Mike


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