BJJ for Health
As far as the Health benefits of BJJ, it is great for both your mind and body.
From a mental perspective, BJJ delivers in a lot of different areas:
Stress-reduction - there are a few different ways that BJJ can help you to deal with your everyday stresses. Firstly, let's look at the amount of focus and concentration required to move your hips, arms and legs in concert through the series of moves necessary to learn a new technique. Believe me, this requires your full attention. And while you are focusing on your BJJ, all your other concerns tend to fall away and your stress levels fall dramatically. The other anti-stress component is rolling - sure it can be gentle but it's still a fight and your adrenal gland isn't aware that it's not real! When you're trying to prevent your partner from choking you or snaring you in an armbar, your focus is 100% on survival. No space in your brain to worry about your terrible boss or family concerns!
Perseverance - do not expect to become an accomplished BJJ practitioner without some serious hardship and adversity. If it were easy, then the rewards would not be valued. This is not a martial art where you can expect to achieve your black belt in a few short years, and you need to keep pushing through the different challenges. It can be frustrating, but the fortitude and mental strength to keep pushing can provide benefits in other areas of your life.
Brain Training - there are many studies which demonstrate that learning new skills is the best way to maintain brain-health. Why not combine this with a fun activity where you'll meet new friends, get in shape and maybe learn something that one day could help you out of a tight corner?
When it comes to healthy body, BJJ is the only activity I have found that directly works all 3 aspects of general physical fitness:
Flexibility – it's not always easy getting into the correct position to defend or to attack with a submission. You need good control of your limbs and you need the flexibility to position your hips/legs or whatever as required. When you first walk into a BJJ school before class, you will see most students limbering up with stretches - there's a reason for this! You will also see a lot of BJJ folks at yoga class - ahh those hip openers!
Strength – you're not lifting weights, but you will be lifting yourself and resisting your opponent pretty much full-time. Yes, BJJ is about leverage and not necessarily strength, but I guarantee your muscles will feel fully worked out, and you will get stronger through your practice of BJJ. Your core is also going to by turns hate you (for the hard work) and love you (for the effects).
Cardio – if you're not gassed at the end of class, you weren't really trying! BJJ is hard work, and rolling for just a few minutes feels like the equivalent of a 30 min fitness class workout. Especially for new students, until you learn to calm down a little; the adrenaline dump and the furious attempts to escape will leave you drained. But the high of learning and executing a new technique makes up for it!
Try an image search for BJJ body transformation to see how many people have used Jiu-Jitsu to improve their physical health. All this, plus you're having fun and learning a new skill!! What is not to love?