BJJ is one of those disciplines that can help you find balance in other areas of your life. Through the practice of the art of jiu-jitsu, all of the stresses of day to day existence fade and we get transported into being fully ‘present’.
This is something that many high achieving individuals strive for, so many of the world’s biggest corporations even have in house BJJ training sessions.
The latest professionals to be overtaken by BJJ, are San Francisco’s chefs. Being a chef is a highly stressful occupation that demands the highest discipline and vigor in order to answer the demands of the job.
Previously, late Anthony Bourdain shared how he was a huge fan of jiu-jitsu and even competed at blue belt.
The San Francisco Chronicle shared an interesting story about the hobby that’s taking the food industry by storm.
The likes of Jason Fox, the executive chef of the Proper Hotel, and Ian Gordon, a chef at the two-Michelin-starred Californios, are just two of many top chefs who have taken up the sport. And it’s not hard to see why. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, known as “human chess’’ for its combination of physicality and strategy, offers chefs a way to improve their physical, mental, and emotional acuity, both on and off the mat.
Not long ago, a chef’s prominence was measured by glowing reviews, lines out the door, and bragging rights to their own farm. But nowadays, what gives a chef real cred may be what belt they hold in the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. More and more chefs are taking up this popular form of self-defense, which has even attracted celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Demi Lovato, and Tom Hardy.
The progression in the sport from white to black belt offers a clear path to advancement, and a path to deeper transformation. Many chefs credit jiu-jitsu with improving their physical, mental, and emotional acuity, both on and off the mat. Chefs are drawn to the sport because of its combination of physical challenge and mental strategy. As Fox says, “Chefs all like punishment; they like being pushed to the limit.’’
Black-belt culinary luminaries such as Alex Atala of Michelin two-starred D.O.M. in Sao Paulo, Brazil; James Beard Award-winning Marc Vetri of Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia; and James Beard Award-winning Jeff Michaud of Osteria in Philadelphia, among others, are among the most proficient chefs who have mastered Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“Jiu-jitsu teaches that even if you’re being crushed by this huge person, you can get out of this situation and gain an advantage,’’ Gordon said.
“In the kitchen, it’s the same. If you’re spiraling into a big problem, you learn to breathe through it and find a way.’’