Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a fantastic martial arts discipline. It’s a symphony of all the incredible aspects of martial arts, be it physical, mental, or spiritual. Thousands of people all over the world train in a BJJ gym in some corner of the globe, with the aim to equip themselves with the knowledge of grappling for self-defense or sport.
BJJ in Singapore, in particular, is becoming immensely popular, with you or someone you know likely enrolled in a BJJ class.
However, like all other martial arts, the discipline does take years to master. You’ll no doubt find yourself in the BJJ gym more often than not. Endless hours of practice are required just to perfect one single technique, let alone a whole lot of them. Needless to say, maximum effort is a prerequisite to greatness.
But there are a handful of attributes you can work on to make sure you absorb the full potential of your BJJ training. These attributes will help you execute techniques more fluidly, and will put you in a position to learn and adapt quickly. Train these attributes, and you’ll fast track your way to excellence.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five attributes to build to become better at BJJ.
A lot is made about leverage in BJJ, and while leverage does play an important part in controlling situations on the mats, so does pure strength. Which is why strength and conditioning is such an important aspect of BJJ training.
Strength is the human body’s ability to power through resistance. It comes in many different forms.
The first is isometric strength, or otherwise known as static strength. This is when the muscles are not moving, but are working against an outside force in order to control it or prevent movement. The second is isotonic strength or dynamic strength. This is when you directly use your muscles to try to move objects.
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Both types of strength are important in BJJ, because we face many different scenarios where strength is needed. Simply put, the stronger you are, the better the grappler you are.
Training strength is crucial to improving your overall BJJ and grappling game. So don’t skip strength training.
One of the most important attributes a good BJJ practitioner possesses is endurance. With good endurance, we’re able to go longer and harder in training, and are able to perform at a consistently high level during competition.
Endurance is the ability to perform physical exercise or specific movements for extended periods of time, without sacrificing form or efficiency.
To be better at BJJ, you have to make sure you train both your muscular endurance and your cardiovascular endurance. Muscular endurance is your ability to use your muscles continuously without tiring, while cardiovascular endurance involves the heart and your respiratory system. Good cardio endurance is usually a sign of great fitness.
It may not appear so on the surface, but BJJ training requires a lot of endurance. It is deceptively exhausting, and if your technique isn’t on point, training can deplete energy resources quite quickly.
Flexibility is obviously one of the most crucial attributes to possess as a BJJ practitioner. A lot of the techniques involved in BJJ require great flexibility. It’s our ability to move our muscles and joints with a wide range of motion that will set us up for success on the mats.
In a myriad of positions, flexibility plays a major role in a BJJ practitioner’s capability to both attack and defend against submissions. Basic techniques like variations of the guard, different kinds of mounts and control positions, and transitioning all require a high level of flexibility.
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One way to train flexibility is by stretching. Stretching is an important component of training in BJJ, and is one that must be performed daily in order to maximize potential. Improve your flexibility, and you’ll be dangerous in any and all situations.
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Agility may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of attributes for BJJ, but it is nonetheless a very important focal point of training. Agility is the ability of an athlete to contort and maneuver the body into different positions quickly, transitioning seamlessly from one to another.
BJJ matches don’t start on the ground. There is a great deal of jockeying for dominant position on the feet before action hits the mats. This is where agility comes in. With good agility, you can control these situations, you can get the better of scrambles, and you can execute explosive escapes when necessary.
Agility and athleticism also go hand-in-hand. To be more agile, equates to being a better athlete. Certain exercises directly enhance agility, such as plyometrics, and it would suit you best to incorporate some of these workouts into your daily routine.
Last but not least is balance. Balance is extremely important in any martial art, especially in BJJ. It’s the ability to remain on your feet, and stay upright, controlling the weight of your body and your center of gravity. With good balance, it becomes difficult for opponents to maneuver your body into disadvantageous positions.
The two types of balance include static balance, where you are stationary and not moving, and dynamic balance, which involves constant shifting of movement whilst maintaining that low center of gravity.
Balance allows us to win the battle on the feet. It also allows us to maintain good position in scrambles, and execute flawless transitions. Training your balance will improve your quality as a grappler tenfold.
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