Brazilian jiu-jitsu and wellbeing: an inductive thematic analysis exploring how BJJ can increase subjective wellbeing

Ben Morris, Andrew Bone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to assess the sociopsychological impact that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s (BJJ) can have on the subjective wellbeing of practitioners.

Design: Data was collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews (N=8) and were analysed using thematic analysis taking an inductive approach.

Findings: Improvements in the wellbeing of practitioners can be made via focusing on specific known constructs which have previously shown to increase subjective wellbeing. They included the development of mental toughness, progression towards meaningful goals and/or healthy habits and behaviours, and the forming and maintaining of positive social relationships.

Research Implications/limitations: The present work demonstrates the psychological benefits of BJJ practice on several psychological wellbeing targets, albeit it in a modest sample size.

Practical implications: The heightened emphasis on mental wellbeing in the general population has added increasing pressure on mental health services (Diener et al., 2018; Johnson et al., 2018; Steptoe et al., 2015; Wicking & Dean 2020). Therefore, it is of theoretical and practical advantage to explore novel ways to help individuals with both their mental health and wellbeing.

Originality: The present study seeks to add to an emerging field of research which proposes that intentional activities such as BJJ can be integrated alongside traditional approaches to therapy in their promise to help those recovering from mental health issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMental Health and Social Inclusion
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2024


  • health
  • sport
  • intervention
  • rough-and-tumble
  • Brazilian jiu jitsu
  • mental toughness


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