Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help?

Tips to Reduce Anxiety: Can Martial Arts Classes Help

Reducing stress and anxiety is often a sub-goal of martial arts students who are looking to get fit, have fun, and learn self-defense … But this sport can help students with anxiety directly in a few different ways. Let’s get into them. (We’re not medical professionals and recommend you consult with a doctor to get the proper treatment and care you deserve.)

Reducing Anxiety with Martial Arts

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Martial arts classes can be really helpful for adults (and kids!) that may struggle with clinical or just life-related anxiety. Not only is it a highly physical sport (get all the adrenaline out), it’s also a unique tool we can use to combat symptoms of anxiety.

One symptom of anxiety is racing thoughts. If you struggle with anxiety, you may feel like you’re living totally in your mind, not feeling present or even feeling sensations in your body. Martial arts can be an amazing solution for this. First of all, when you’re feeling anxious, your brain can pump out adrenaline and activate what’s known as your “fight-or-flight” response. All that adrenaline usually just stays in your body because you’re not moving, you’re (over)thinking – but martial arts pushes you in a different direction.

Kicking and punching and channeling that energy effectively is a superb way to combat the adrenaline pump and can even be necessary for your body, as it’s getting the adrenaline and anxiety OUT in an intentional way. Secondly, using your full body in a self defense workout in general is going to melt that stress away and help you get ALL of those feelings out. Stress at work, stress with your kids, your partner, your life … All the things you’re way overthinking come OUT on the mat. You channel it all into movement and it makes you a focused, clear-headed person off the mat- and an excellent martial artist on the mat, with real power and energy behind your moves.

Concentration and Motivation Through Martial Arts

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It’s no surprise that racing thoughts can lead to difficulty concentrating, another symptom of anxiety. Sometimes you feel hyper alert and hyperactive, other times you’re pretty sluggish and don’t want to do anything. You’re either frozen in panic or spinning your wheels with stress. If you’re experiencing this – show up to class. That’s all we ask you to do.

Once you get here, we will help you. We will show you how to push yourself just beyond what you think you’re capable of, and you’ll feel your focus shift. You concentrate on one minute of each class at a time and soon you’re having a lot of fun and the time is flying by. For this one martial arts class, you don’t have to be anything other than exactly you, even if you’re anxious, doing what you’re doing, exporting your thought process to your instructor and getting it all out through physical movement.

What we can’t say is that martial arts classes can “get rid of your anxiety- only doctors and therapists can show you how to do that. But what we WILL say is that physically moving your body, channeling your racing thoughts into something awesome, being a part of a fun community with rewarding social interactions, and setting and getting new goals- these help anyone’s mental health. They’re key pieces to the whole picture that martial arts classes can absolutely provide.

Creating a Better Mindset Through Martial Arts

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We say it all the time, but it’s true – martial arts is about way more than just punches and kicks.

Martial arts is actually an amazing tool that people have been using for centuries to achieve real success and change their lives. How? Using ancient techniques that are mixed with a complete education on modern mindset in your martial arts classes, you build confidence, physical and mental strength.

You develop perseverance while achieving your goals and getting your belts. And you learn so much about how to get your mind on your side from such a physically involved sport. We’re not going to sugarcoat it – martial arts is HARD. It is a difficult sport. There’s a lot of coordination, a lot of muscle movement, a lot of focus and discipline required to really be a successful martial artist.

So martial arts is difficult, but guess what- so is life with anxiety, and we’re going to help you get through it. Whether it’s just anxious feelings or full-on generalized anxiety disorder, we know the difficulty of life with mental health issues cannot be understated. But we also know it can be helped through the power of martial arts classes, and the development of your mindset.

How Mindset Can Help You Reduce Anxiety

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Mindset is so important to us here at Active Jiu Jitsu because we’ve seen it work time and time again, on and off the mat. One of our favorite quotes is “A black belt is a white belt who never gave up.” The only difference between the two belts, or any two belts, is the commitment to show up and keep at it, even (especially) when times are tough.

When you’re by yourself in a gym, for example, it’s you, the machinery or weights, and your brain telling you what to do. Sometimes, when you’re anxious, your brain is not your most reliable workout buddy. It’s easily distracted, it can say some pretty mean things to you and hype you up for “emergencies” (which are really non-threats) in the worst way possible. But when you’re in our martial arts classes, it’s not your brain telling you what to do (not yet, anyway)- it’s our instructors. And our instructors have been right where you stand. Many of them have struggled with their own mental health issues, and have turned to martial arts time and time again for support from their own instructors, their peers, and this family here. Martial arts is an individual sport in a group setting, which means that you’re never alone, and that fact alone can be hugely comforting and helpful in reducing anxiety.

One more thing about the instructors. Sometimes when you’re struggling with anxiety you can’t see anything other than your own shortcomings and failures. But please hear this- our instructors and the community here are going to support you. We are going to show you just how much freaking amazing you really are, despite (or maybe because of?) your mental health struggles. The best part is that over time, you start to internalize that positive mindset, and are able to carry yourself through tough moments with compassion and understanding. The whole self defense piece of it, then, becomes just the icing on the cake.

Martial Arts and Mental Health

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So now hopefully you can see that martial arts can really help with anxiety. Staying active, focusing those racing thoughts into something useful, and mindset/community support are martial arts benefits that are critical to staying well. With martial arts classes your overall mood and your health can both improve tremendously right alongside your mindset, which gives you the proper tools to reduce anxiety and push through those tough times. Ready to see what martial arts can do for you? Give Active Jiu Jitsu in Spring Branch & Westchase a try with our risk-free trial (yes, risk-free!) and see for yourself how it can change your life. You’ll LOVE IT!

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About our programs

Preschool Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
in Spring Branch/Westchase

Discover why parents love our Preschool Brazilian Jiujitsu program in Westchase. It's the perfect blend of gross motor, personal development and character enrichment. Find out why 100's of families, just like yours, trust Active Jiu Jitsu

- IN-PERSON CLASSES AVAILABLE -

COGNITIVE / SKILLS

Strength and coordination, Boosted confidence, burn off energy

ACTIVITY / FITNESS

Speed, agility, and flexibilty, Improved athleticism

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
in Spring Branch/Westchase

Parents love our Kids Brazilian Jiujitsu program in Westchase, because it's the perfect blend of self defense, personal development and character enrichment. Find out why so many families, just like yours, love and trust Active Jiu Jitsu

- IN-PERSON CLASSES AVAILABLE -

COGNITIVE / SKILLS

Focus on problem solving, developing life skills, boosted confidence

ACTIVITY / FITNESS

Speed, agility, and flexibilty, Improved athleticism

Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
(Self-Defense)
in Spring Branch/Westchase

Our self-defense program is for the student who have no experience in martial arts and for those interested in learning how to defend themselves from a possible aggressor.



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CARDIO

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
(Intermediate Class)
in Spring Branch/Westchase

The intermediate class is the largest class, with students from all levels attending. Due to the nature of this class, we try to pair more experienced students with those with less experience. There is a greater focus on technique and practice compared to the self-defense class.

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CARDIO

FLEXIBILITY

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
(Advanced Class)
in Spring Branch/Westchase

The advanced class is designed for students who are blue belts or higher. However, white belts who feel comfortable with the pace of this class may participate, as we have created a comprehensive teaching method for all levels.

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
(Competition Class)
in Spring Branch/Westchase

The competition class is for students who want to test themselves in a competitive nature or for those who want additional practice.



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CARDIO

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Adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
(No Gi Class)
in Spring Branch/Westchase

The No Gi class focuses on falls, leg braces, and guillotines. It is very popular among No Gi fans, MMA fighters, and those who want to learn more advanced self-defense.

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Private Class
in Spring Branch/Westchase

The private lesson is an exclusive product. During a private class you will receive one hour of undivided attention from the instructor who will assist in improving your Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an art where each student may have a unique approach, so a private class can help refine your unique style.

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Curriculum

*1st place – Brazil Cup Jiu-Jitsu (CBJJO) – 2004
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State League (LERJJ) – 2004
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio) – weight and open weight division – 2004
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Ranking (FJJ-Rio) – 2004
‍*2nd place – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship (CBJJ) – 2005
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship – weight and open weight division (FJJ-Rio) – 2005.
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Ranking (FJJ-Rio) – 2005
*1st place – Brazil Cup Jiu-Jitsu – weight division – 2006
* 3rd place – Brazil Cup Jiu-Jitsu – Absolut of light division – 2006
*1st place – Super Cup Rip Dorey Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Professional – 2006
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship – weight and open weight division (FJJ-Rio) – 2006
*3rd Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship CBJJO 2007 – Weight Division
*3rd Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship CBJJO 2007 – Open Weight Division
*2nd place – South American Jiu-Jitsu Championship (IBJJF ) – 2007
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio ) – 2007
*1st place – International Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship – 2007
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio) – 2008
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJD-Rio) – 2008
*1st place – Rio de Janeiro Jiu-Jitsu State Championship (FJJ-Rio) – open weight division – 2009
*1st place – South American Jiu-Jitsu Championship (IBJJF)- 2009
*2nd place – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship (CBJJ)- 2009
*1st place – Super Fight Jiu-Jitsu – Ohio – 2011
*1st place – Colorado State Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship – weight Division – 2011
*1st place – Colorado State Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championship – Open Weight Division – 2011
*1st place – Super Fight Jiu-Jitsu – Colorado – 2011
*1st place – Dallas Jiu-Jitsu International Open (IBJJF) – 2012
*3rd place – Pan American Jiu-Jitsu International Championship (IBJJF) – 2013
*1st place – Chicago Jiu-Jitsu International Open (IBJJF) – 2013
*1st place – Seattle Jiu-Jitsu International Open (IBJJF) – 2014
*1st place – BJJ Tour Jiu-Jitsu International – 2014
*1st place – Summer Classic Super Fight Jiu-Jitsu – 2015
*1st place – Europa Super Show Dallas – Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Super Fight – 2015
*1st place – Vegas International Open (IBJJF) – Weight division – 2016
*1st place – Vegas International Open (IBJJF) Open weight division – 2016
*1st place – Los Angeles PRO (IBJJF) – 2016
*2nd place – weight division – New York International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*3rd place – Absolute (open weight) divison – New York International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – National Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – San Jose International Open Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – weight division – Seattle International Open Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*2nd place – absolute (open weight division) – Seattle International Open Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*Champion of super fight – Fight to Win PRO 47TX – 2017
*1st place – San Diego Pro Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*2nd place – Pan American No Gi International Championship (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – San Antonio International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – Cincinnati International Open (IBJJF) – 2017
*2nd place – World NO GI (IBJJF) – 2017
*1st place – Seattle International Open (IBJJF) – 2018
*2nd place – Super fight – Fight to Win PRO 87 TX – 2018

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