Demi Lovato Raved About How "Empowered" They Feel During Jiu-Jitsu Training

The singer, who currently has a blue belt, calls the martial arts form "meditative."

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For years, Demi Lovato has been unfailingly open about the role fitness has played — both positive and negative — in their experiences with disordered eating, body image, mental health, and addiction. In a new interview, they shared that jiu-jitsu not only makes them feel "empowered" but that the martial arts form also serves as a method of meditation for them.

The singer is a longtime fan of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a combat sport that involves teaching people to fight and defend themselves through leverage, weight distribution, and holds, bringing the fight to the ground to even the playing field. In a recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience, Lovato opened up about what it means to practice such a powerful physical art, sharing that they love the "meditative" aspect of the sport. (ICYDK, they've been open about Brazilian jiu-jitsu as part of their recovery.)

Lovato said that, for them, the sport is "the best thing outside of meditation" that helps them feel "balanced" — especially when they practice "flow rolling," Lovato added. Flow rolling in jiu-jitsu involves reducing the intensity of combat to help new students, those recovering from injuries, or those who simply want a lighter training session. It's said to put you into a more relaxed state of mind, requiring intense focus and slower, more controlled movements. "That is meditative," Lovato said of flow rolling. "That is meditation."

Whether you're flow rolling or sparring more intensely, experts say that the meditative element is always there. "It's constant movement. You just lose yourself in it," professional martial arts trainer, Dan Roberts previously told Shape. "Martial arts are just as much about building character as about learning to fight. They reinforce being humble, disciplined, and respectful. The benefits are beyond aesthetic."

For Lovato, they told Rogan that their jiu-jitsu training — and the progress they've made in the sport — shows they can still surprise themself. "I've tapped out a few people in my time," they revealed with a laugh. "What's really wild is when you surpass yourself. I never thought that I'd get a blue belt [the second of eight belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu]. I just never thought that I'd get a belt in anything. I'm a singer." (

"Hard work pays off, and it's just really cool when you get to prove yourself wrong," Lovato added.

Though Lovato has been sidelined in their training due to COVID-19, they told Rogan they're looking forward to getting back into it soon. If you're interested in exploring martial arts yourself but stuck at home too, this MMA training plan will help fighters of all levels get into shape until group workouts are safe again.

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