Importance of Training the Mind for Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu is just as much of a mental battle as it is a physical battle, if not more. You are not only facing your opponent in a mental game, you are also facing yourself in one too. You have to deal with this stress before, during, and after all of your matches. Constant questions that floating in your mind keep coming up. Who is in my division? Who will I go against first? How should I start the match? The thoughts keep popping up with the questions. I hope I don’t lose. I hope I don’t get hurt. So why don’t we focus on training the mind just like we do our bodies when training?

We have all been there where we go out to a tournament, or maybe just a day of training where we just weren’t there mentally, and we psyche ourselves out of knowing how good we truly are. You can’t help those thoughts from coming in from time to time, but there are ways to not let them affect your confidence as you step onto the mats. It is all about how you perceive these thoughts. Thoughts are just that. They aren’t real, but there is a tendency to talk ourselves into believing they are, and this will always affect your performance.

Most of the time, we burn out mentally before we do physically. We tell ourselves we are tired or not good enough to win this tournament. It is just as important to train yourself mentally as it is physically because of this, and you can do this many ways. You can push yourself mentally in practice by training hard, but sometimes that always doesn’t work on your mental focus before your matches.

I am going to get a little deep on you guys, so hold on. Meditation is something that will contribute to your Jiu-Jitsu game, and life in general. I have never been so calm going into matches after practicing meditation, and this will not only save mental energy, but it will help save physical energy too! Meditation rewires your brain to perceive things in a different way by redirecting the blood flow while keeping it in more of an Alpha wave length (calm & focused). If you don’t believe me, there is scientific research to back it up now. Give it a try! Let me know if you have questions getting started!


  1. Great article.

    I’ve been thinking about meditation in my life for a while now.
    Not just for Jiu Jitsu benefits but to help calm my mind, give me clarity.

    Is there any particular medication practice you do?
    How long is your medication practice?



    • Hi Waa – First of all, thank you for the kind words about the article – much appreciated. It is good you have an open mind about trying it out. Meditation will have to be something you practice on a consistent basis as you would with training and nutrition to see the most benefits. It is hard at first, and it will never be perfect, but it is all worth it. I have experience in focusing on your breathing, visualization, and a combination of both. If you want to get started, I would recommend getting a guided meditation DVD to help you make sense of it all. That’s where I started, but now I use an application on my phone called Headspace to practice. Having it on your phone makes it easy and convenient to do anywhere. Start off with 5-10 minutes, and then go from there. The Headspace application will give you 10 free sessions, but you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for more. It is plenty worth it as they have all different kinds of meditation for different topics, such as stress, sleep, creativity, and much more. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions – I will be covering some more strategies for mental health in my upcoming articles. Stay tuned …

  2. I’ve been practicing meditation about two months, and training jiu jitsu for one and a half year, but only in these few months I’ve been feeling amazing on the mat, my energy improves, also my gas, I can keep calm and get out of akward situations or at least hold the position to think how i can get out there.
    I advise all who want to improve your game, to combine a jiu jitsu, meditation and yoga/5 tibetan rites routines and you’ll see the benefits for yourself.
    All the benefits of meditation like better breathe, blood flow e mindcalm are essencials for a jiu jitsu practicioner, so if you love this sport and your live, don’t think twice and start meditate!! The path of meditation is hard and the struggle isn’t easy, but with jiu jitsu is the same, so don’t give up and become a better person and a better player!!


    • Absolutely! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Yoga is a great way to introduce yourself to meditation, and different types, such as Kundalini, mix in meditation to the yoga practice. Great for flexibility and the mind!

  3. Very interesting topic – I’ve started practicing meditation around 2 years ago with the help of Headspace app. It really help understand the concept of meditation and demystify the whole thing. I can say I became more control of my thoughts and mood. The catch with meditation is that it is a skill, that you need to train and develop – like just like your jitz game – the more you train, the better you become.

    I used to practice aikido some 15 years ago as a kid. And what I recall is that every class have started with at least 5 minutes of meditation – tuning your brain in. I remember these long 5 minutes doing nothing, but now I realize that every bjj class would benefit from these moments of training your mind.

    • Agreed! I use the Headspace app too! It is what really made my meditation practice consistent to where I started to see a lot of benefits. It really doesn’t take to much to see some kind of benefit too. Just like you said, 5 minutes will help calm you down and think clearly. A little bit will go a long way not only for your jiu-jitsu game, but just life in general. Thanks for the comment!


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