Black belt Dragan (floor), teaching a student. Photo: Zorana Mackovic
By Zorana Mackovic
University students have turned to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to reduce stress and anxiety levels, especially around exam time.
The martial art, with a strong emphasis on self-defence, teaches people how to defend themselves against a larger opponent, with much grappling and ground fighting.
Dragan Hajdin, a black belt instructor, told The Bounce that Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) teaches submission techniques, using joint-locks and chokeholds, unlike the Japanese method that focuses on takedowns and throws.
“Anyone can get involved at any age. I can’t even begin to explain how beneficial it is,” Mr Hajdin says.
“Through all the different techniques that are taught you simply learn how to control and manage your stress and anxiety.”
The black belt instructor trains four to five times a week for two hours.
The Perth Martial Arts Centre said an increasing number of students had signed up in the past few months.
Students gather around as the lesson begins. Photo: Zorana Mackovic
Sanja Ivancevic, who attends the University of WA, said that once she started studying, her stress and anxiety became impossible to control especially around exam time.
“After each training session of BJJ, I felt more and more relaxed,” Miss Ivancevic says.
“It taught me how to take control of my body when I was placed in uncomfortable or dangerous situations.
“I learned how to control my breathing, slow down my heart rate and use my head. I can’t even begin to explain how much this helped with my studies.
“The great thing about BJJ is that you’re not able to blend into the background like you are with team sports. You need to step up and be accountable for your technique.’’
Mark Kovach, an engineering student, has been competing in BJJ tournaments for more than four years.
“Competition plays a major role in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for me,” he said.
“Not only have competitions allowed me to develop further technique and strategy but they have allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and become more confident and tolerant.”
BJJ is applying for accreditation for the 2024 Olympic games in Paris.