When asked why they want to start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), many people cite self-discipline as a primary motivator. But what does self-discipline mean in the context of martial arts, and how does BJJ instill it? Let’s explore.

Self-Discipline in BJJ:

In short, yes, practicing BJJ can cultivate self-discipline over time. Simply sticking with the training demands a level of discipline in itself. BJJ isn’t easy—it can be challenging and discouraging. Some liken learning BJJ to mastering a new language, both verbally and physically. But beyond perseverance, how does training foster self-discipline?

Training Philosophy:

Some martial arts schools adopt a strict, military-like approach to training, with instructors acting as drill sergeants. While effective for some, at Impact Hood River, we believe in a different approach. Our motto is about choice and gratitude—we get to train, we choose to be here. We emphasize guiding individuals to make their own decisions about training, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment.

Ownership and Commitment:

Consider regular class attendance. Instead of coercion or reprimand for missing classes, we encourage students to see the direct correlation between effort and progress. Those who consistently show up, pay attention, and trust the process progress the most. This intrinsic motivation fosters self-discipline as individuals choose to dedicate more time to their training.

Healthy Habits:

Discipline extends beyond the mat into lifestyle choices like diet and health. Eating clean and avoiding excessive drinking require self-discipline. Even with regular training, poor dietary choices can hinder performance and recovery. Over time, practitioners often notice the impact of their lifestyle choices on their training quality. Opting for nutritious foods and adequate rest becomes a logical decision to support training goals.


Self-discipline in BJJ isn’t just about following rules or directives; it’s about internalizing the values of commitment, effort, and self-improvement. By fostering an environment where individuals choose their path and see the direct impact of their actions on their progress, BJJ becomes not only a physical practice but also a journey of personal growth and discipline.