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Jiu Jitsu as a Modern Philosophy for Life: Exploring the Depths of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Roy Dean

Although martial arts have been around for an estimated 4,000 years, in modern times, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) has emerged as a frontrunner, enticing practitioners worldwide. With its emphasis on physical prowess, discipline, strategic depth and life philosophy, it’s understandable why it’s so popular–particularly among people in the corporate world. 

With a 4th-degree black belt and three decades of experience, Roy Dean has helped BJJ evolve into more than a martial art, transforming it into a comprehensive life philosophy. Professor Dean’s approach to BJJ is not confined to self-defense techniques. It encompasses a holistic development of the individual, intertwining physical expertise with mental sharpness and emotional resilience.

Professor Dean’s journey in Jiu Jitsu, marked by his innovative teaching methods and deep understanding of the art, has transformed how practitioners view and engage with this practice. His teachings extend beyond the mat, influencing not only the way his students interact in physical combat but also how they meet the challenges of everyday life (which can be head on, or sometimes slipping to an advantageous angle). Through his innovations, Dean has redefined traditional perceptions of martial arts, positioning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a transformative tool for personal and community growth.

The Multifaceted Nature of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu transcends the typical notion of fitness regimens, through its conception of martial arts as a mental, emotional and physical challenge simultaneously. Unlike conventional workouts focused primarily on physical conditioning, BJJ integrates the cultivation of mental resilience and emotional strength. This martial art requires practitioners to not just execute physical techniques but also to engage mentally, demanding a high level of strategic thinking and anticipation.

In the practice of BJJ, students learn to read their opponents, anticipate moves, and respond not just with physical force but with calculated strategy. This form of engagement extends beyond the reactive; it involves a proactive mindset, where practitioners plan several moves ahead, akin to a chess game. Such continuous mental exercise sharpens focus and enhances cognitive abilities, making BJJ a form of intellectual as well as physical training.

Moreover, the emotional impact of BJJ cannot be overstated. Practitioners deal with frustrations and fear, as they come to understand the need for patience and perseverance. The training teaches them to manage their own emotions effectively, building fortitude that is invaluable in everyday life. An ultimate goal in BJJ is to stay calm under pressure, controlling fear and anxiety and facing adversity with grace and maturity.

Resilience: The Heart of BJJ

Resilience stands as the cornerstone of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This is an essential trait that is as vital on the mat as it is in the journey of life. 

In BJJ, practitioners are continually faced with physical and strategic challenges, coming at them at high speed and in real time. Each sparring match is an opportunity to confront adversity, to test limits, and to persevere when the mind and body might be tempted to surrender. This relentless pursuit of improvement, despite setbacks and defeats, ingrains a deep sense of resilience in practitioners, preparing them to handle anything that might come their way.

In the dojo, resilience manifests as the ability to recover quickly from being pinned down or outmaneuvered. It’s about adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of a match and finding ways to overcome larger, stronger, and even more experienced opponents. 

This resilience is not just about physical recovery. It also includes mental and emotional facets, without which efforts to improve would be futile. Practitioners learn to process defeat, to understand and learn from it, and to return to the mat with renewed determination.

This resilience cultivated through BJJ transcends the boundaries of the sport. It becomes a fundamental part of the practitioner’s character, equipping them to handle life’s challenges with a similar tenacity. In personal and professional spheres, this resilience translates into the ability to embrace difficulties, to adapt to changing circumstances, and to recover from setbacks swiftly. Whether dealing with a challenging project at work, navigating complex personal relationships, or facing life’s unexpected trials, the resilience honed in BJJ becomes a powerful tool for tackling daunting obstacles that might have derailed the practitioner’s efforts in the past.

Leadership and Community: Dean’s Unique Contribution

Roy Dean’s philosophy emphasizes leadership and the importance of community. His approach fosters leadership qualities among students, encouraging them to guide and motivate others as they themselves have been guided and motivated. Through his academies and online platforms, Dean has fostered a global community where practitioners support each other enthusiastically and universally, creating a collective purpose and a deep and inspiring sense of belonging.​

Those who enroll in Roy Dean’s Academy are joining more than a training center. They´re also entering a haven for mental and emotional well-being. The Academy offers an escape from isolation and a place of where belonging comes naturally, where shared experiences in training create strong emotional bonds and support sound mental health. This nurturing tribal environment is vital for personal growth and emotional resilience.​

Applying Jiu Jitsu Principles Beyond the Mat

The impact of Roy Dean’s revolutionary teachings extend beyond physical training into everyday life. He encourages students to view challenges as opportunities for growth, nurturing a transformative mindset. Personal anecdotes from his journey illustrate how the observance of Jiu Jitsu principles can help someone overcome life’s obstacles, allowing for a unique perspective on the power of martial arts​.

Building a Global Community through Jiu Jitsu

Roy Dean is not just a martial artist; he’s a community builder. His YouTube videos and expanding network of affiliated academies have played a key role in spreading his coaching style globally. His holistic approach emphasizes communication, mentorship, and mastery, which has led to the development of a global community that embodies his teachings and guides others toward personal achievement and excellence​ in leadership.

Jiu Jitsu’s Broader Implications in Business and Life

The principles of Jiu Jitsu as taught by Dean can be applied in a variety of contexts, including in business. By embracing these principles, students develop greater capacities for strategic thinking, effective communication and resilient leadership, all of which are fundamental to success in an entrepreneurial environment.. Dean’s philosophy magnifies Jiu Jitsu’s profound impact on personal and professional development​, enhancing its effectiveness in ways that are truly astounding.

Dean’s Expansive Influence: Books and Online Resources

Roy Dean has extended his sphere of influence  through his books, The Martial Apprentice and Becoming the Black Belt, where he chronicles his adventures and offers his penetrating insights into the heart and soul of Jiu Jitsu (and especially Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). These works, along with his contributions to Aikido Journal, guide readers toward a deeper understanding of the universal principles of combat and their application in virtually all life situations, including those experienced in the community, in relationships, when on personal quests and while trying to devise and implement business strategies that ensure success.

The Physical and Emotional Health Benefits of Jiu Jitsu

Dean’s expertise in Jiu Jitsu encompasses more than perfected technique. It’s also about enhancing physical and emotional health and fitness in all of its aspects. His journey through training and teaching has demonstrated the profound impact of this martial art on individuals’ mindset and self-worth. His innovative online courses, such as “Purple Belt Requirements 2.0,” offer a conceptual guide to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, further illustrating the depth and breadth of his knowledge and the scope of his teachings​.

Embracing Jiu Jitsu as a Life Philosophy The Physical

In Roy Dean’s hands, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu transcends its traditional boundaries, emerging as a foundation for an empowering philosophy of life. His approach to BJJ impacts health in all of its physical, mental and emotional aspects, instilling feelings of self-worth, a love for community, and the confidence to assume positions of leadership. 

BJJ under Dean’s guidance has evolved beyond its roots as an invigorating physical discipline. His teachings light a path toward holistic self-improvement, in the process highlighting the transformative power this martial art possesses for students who are ready to embrace its full potential. To put it simply, Roy Dean teaches his students how to win, on the mat and in life.


Author Bio

Sarah is a writer  and editor living on an eco-organic farm in Puerto Rico. Her main areas of interest are sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, natural healing, spirituality and STEM.

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