In 2008 a study came out of Vanderbilt University which for the first time indicated that the brain processes aggression as a reward -- much like sex, food and drugs.
Aggression has been part of our evolution, it is what has allowed us to stay alive, competing for reproductive mates, food, and threats to our safety. This new research shows us that aggression triggers the reward pathway in the brain, the dopamine pathway. This research even went as far as to suggest that an individual may intentionally seek out an aggressive event to serve this dopamine hit.
What could be better for your brain than a safe, positive, healthy environment learning how to safely engage an opponent to facilitate these dopamine pathways to feeling good? I have learned that Jiu Jitsu has afforded me a family, a means of staying fit, skills to protect myself, a means of learning a complex cerebral sport, learning complex ways to move the body that no other sport can implement, and a safe positive way of looking at life. It feels good, for many reasons, and now we know in part why, because it excites our dopamine reward pathways deep in the brain.
The next time you wonder what the pull is, deep in your soul, towards getting to jiu jitsu class, you will know why -- it is a dopamine hit and you are seeking its rush. So, its alright now to say that you are addicted to jiu jitsu, science has made it so -- dopamine, the safe feel good drug made right up top in your noggin.
- Dr. Shawn Allen, BJJ Blue
Come join me, bring your kids, lets be sure they get the right stuff in life.