Essentials of Strength Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

While strength training is a very vast subject and we can safely say that the most explored of all motor abilities and done almost countless studies and experiments, hereinafter will try to give some basic information that could be used by any fighter, respectively, coach BJJ. There are several definitions of the term power. For us, most comprehensive and most acceptable would be: Power is the ability to overcome external load muscle contraction. There are several types of power:

-Explosive Power – the ability to achieve maximum muscle contraction in the shortest possible time;
-Speed Power – is the ability of the athlete to perform one or more movements at a greater speed at lower or higher resistance; (for some authors explosive and speed power are the same one)
-Repetitive Power (endurance in strength, muscular endurance) – The ability of athletes to exhibit relatively greater power over a longer period of time;
-Maximum or static power – FORCE– the biggest force that can be generated in a maximal voluntary contraction.

lift

There is also a division at:

-Absolute strength (maximum weight load that athletes can handle)
-Relative strength (mastering the relationship between load and mass athletes)

In addition to the division of power, we have to mention the division of muscle contraction. those are:

-Concentric (Muscle force is greater than the external force, the muscle shortens, merge approaching)
-Eccentric (Muscle force is less than exterior force under whose influence of muscle lengthens)
-Isometric (Muscle force is equal to the external force and does not come to a shortening nor to an elongation of muscles, respectively, outwardly muscle length does not change, but the tone rises)

When you talk about sports or about strength training in sports, there is a rule (with exceptions of course): “To train movement, not muscle.” Accordingly, there are specific features and rules when it comes to strength training in a specific sport. Those are:

1. Type of power – we get gain strength only from the type of power that we trained, for example, if your goal is to improve the technique of “double leg takedown (DLT)” must do explosive strength, because it is a movement that seeks explosiveness.
2. The muscle groups involved in the exercise – you need to turn those muscle groups that perform this movement or strength increases only in those muscles involved in the exercise, for example, when the DLT technique primarily the muscles of the legs, core muscles and neck and partly arm muscles and chest, and they should train.

jon-jones-takdown

  1. The type of muscle contraction – in which the contraction exercise your muscles or movement, in that most will come to gain power, for example. If you are in a position to side control and planning to strongly fix the opponents should be doing isometric contraction.
  2. The amplitude of the movement – the power of the highest increases in the extent in which you perform the movement; try to develop strength in the range (amplitude) in which you perform the movement in sports. For example, If you do DLT technique half squat is not a great exercise for you; an exercise would be a deep squat or lunge because the amplitude of movement.
  3.  Speed of contraction – If your sport is dominated by fast movements, you should practice all the moves in fast mode, respectively contraction. For example, if we do technique where flying armbar is required to perform a quick movement, an exercise for us would jump (different variants), because it is fast contraction, while squat with large weights and thus a slower rate of contraction would not be appropriate.
  4. The specificity of the movement – the last, but we can safely say the most important thing. Each exercise has a specific structure of the movement and the power of the highest increases most in the movement. If the athlete raises high weight exercises leg press, the squat position might happen to generate the (proportionally) less force. Although the other 5 parameters like, almost the same, if we change just one detail performing the exercises, movement, changing the neuromuscular coordination and the nervous system recognizes it as almost a second movement and therefore generates less force. Look to always make as similar as possible to exercise training with movement in sport, every detail.

BJJ-Rope-Climbing-for-Grip

So from all of this, can we deduce that the rule of SPECIFIC is the most important in sport. There are a number of scientists who advocate the theory that no preparatory or basic agent (exercise) can replace the specific muscular work. Most of you probably at the mention of the word “force” think about the gym. In addition to the weights and machines, there is also a multitude of resources for the development of power which we will discuss in some other articles. These are all excellent methods and resources in training forces, but keep in mind just eating thing: Strength training is a great addition to the sport, especially in combat, only if you respect the rule of SPECIFIC!

Essentials of Strength Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Check out http://www.Knoxxgear.com for our newest apparel for your training needs.

While strength training is a very vast subject and we can safely say that the most explored of all motor abilities and done almost countless studies and experiments, hereinafter will try to give some basic information that could be used by any fighter, respectively, coach BJJ. There are several definitions of the term power. For us, most comprehensive and most acceptable would be: Power is the ability to overcome external load muscle contraction. There are several types of power:

-Explosive Power – the ability to achieve maximum muscle contraction in the shortest possible time;
-Speed Power – is the ability of the athlete to perform one or more movements at a greater speed at lower or higher resistance; (for some authors explosive and speed power are the same one)
-Repetitive Power (endurance in strength, muscular endurance) – The ability of athletes to exhibit relatively greater power over a longer period of time;
-Maximum or static power – FORCE– the biggest force that can be generated in a maximal voluntary contraction.

lift

 

There is also a division at:

-Absolute strength (maximum weight load that athletes can handle)
-Relative strength (mastering the relationship between load and mass athletes)

In addition to the division of power, we have to mention the division of muscle contraction. those are:

-Concentric (Muscle force is greater than the external force, the muscle shortens, merge approaching)
-Eccentric (Muscle force is less than exterior force under whose influence of muscle lengthens)
-Isometric (Muscle force is equal to the external force and does not come to a shortening nor to an elongation of muscles, respectively, outwardly muscle length does not change, but the tone rises)

When you talk about sports or about strength training in sports, there is a rule (with exceptions of course): “To train movement, not muscle.” Accordingly, there are specific features and rules when it comes to strength training in a specific sport. Those are:

1. Type of power – we get gain strength only from the type of power that we trained, for example, if your goal is to improve the technique of “double leg takedown (DLT)” must do explosive strength, because it is a movement that seeks explosiveness.
2. The muscle groups involved in the exercise – you need to turn those muscle groups that perform this movement or strength increases only in those muscles involved in the exercise, for example, when the DLT technique primarily the muscles of the legs, core muscles and neck and partly arm muscles and chest, and they should train.

 

jon-jones-takdown

  1. The type of muscle contraction – in which the contraction exercise your muscles or movement, in that most will come to gain power, for example. If you are in a position to side control and planning to strongly fix the opponents should be doing isometric contraction.
  2. The amplitude of the movement – the power of the highest increases in the extent in which you perform the movement; try to develop strength in the range (amplitude) in which you perform the movement in sports. For example, If you do DLT technique half squat is not a great exercise for you; an exercise would be a deep squat or lunge because the amplitude of movement.
  3.  Speed of contraction – If your sport is dominated by fast movements, you should practice all the moves in fast mode, respectively contraction. For example, if we do technique where flying armbar is required to perform a quick movement, an exercise for us would jump (different variants), because it is fast contraction, while squat with large weights and thus a slower rate of contraction would not be appropriate.
  4. The specificity of the movement – the last, but we can safely say the most important thing. Each exercise has a specific structure of the movement and the power of the highest increases most in the movement. If the athlete raises high weight exercises leg press, the squat position might happen to generate the (proportionally) less force. Although the other 5 parameters like, almost the same, if we change just one detail performing the exercises, movement, changing the neuromuscular coordination and the nervous system recognizes it as almost a second movement and therefore generates less force. Look to always make as similar as possible to exercise training with movement in sport, every detail.

BJJ-Rope-Climbing-for-Grip

So from all of this, can we deduce that the rule of SPECIFIC is the most important in sport. There are a number of scientists who advocate the theory that no preparatory or basic agent (exercise) can replace the specific muscular work. Most of you probably at the mention of the word “force” think about the gym. In addition to the weights and machines, there is also a multitude of resources for the development of power which we will discuss in some other articles. These are all excellent methods and resources in training forces, but keep in mind just eating thing: Strength training is a great addition to the sport, especially in combat, only if you respect the rule of SPECIFIC!

Check out http://www.Knoxxgear.com for our newest apparel for your training needs.

Essentials of Strength Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

 

SELF DEVELOPMENT THROUGH BJJ

12369268_10154388636440898_1309469093047879767_nIn traditional martial arts circles, it’s common to hear the phrase “self-development” thrown around when talking about the benefits of training. It’s not often that I hear BJJ athletes talk specifically about self-development but I’m sure it exists. So first of all, what does self-development even mean?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines self-development as:

“The act of deciding for yourself how to improve your skills and taking action to do this.”

If we look at this from the physical skill level, I don’t think there is any question that through training in Brazilian jiu jitsu we are improving our (physical) skills.

When most talk about self-development however, I find undertones relating to improving one’s personality or outlook on life. There is this idea that somehow by practising a physical activity, we can become better, happier, members of society.

If we look back through history, martial arts were originally ways of developing fighters. Whether with weapons or empty handed, it was necessary for young men to learn how to fight in order to wage wars, defend territory and so on.

leo and dania silva

In the early 20th century however, things started to change in Japan. Arts that previously were taught only as a means of fighting started to emphasise their philosophical side.

This was not just a subtle shift. Starting in 1919, arts that had names that ending in “jutsu” (jujutsu, kenjutsu, kyujutsu, etc.) were re-named with “do” at the end. While “jutsu” just means techniques, “do” means “way” as in a “way of life”. So jujutsu became judo, kenjutsu became kendo, and so on.

The attitude of many martial arts groups at this time was that “the goals of budo (martial arts) are not to compete for victory in competitions” but that self-development was the real goal. There was a divide between sport and budo. While sports were seen as hobbies, as entertainment, budo was seen as a way to “temper the body and the mind”.

When Mitsuyo Maeda taught grappling in Brazil, he chose to use the original name “jujutsu” (or, as it was Romanised, “jiu-jitsu”) instead of calling it “judo”. Being involved in many challenge matches, I can understand why Maeda was reluctant to use the name judo. Only those that were there would know, but I suspect Maeda much preferred focusing on developing fighters rather than teaching self-development.

But just because our art doesn’t have “way of life” in the name, does that mean that athletes’ lives aren’t being improved because of the training? Are we really only learning how to fight?

knoxx gym 6

I suspect it depends. For some, they train because they want a career in fighting. They are not paying a coach to teach them morals and life lessons. They simply want to know the most efficient ways to knock out or submit their opponent.

There may be other students who, much like myself, have found much value in learning the philosophical lessons that the warriors of old were able to pass on. Children in particular need a lot of guidance and some of that can definitely be found in some of the better BJJ academies around the world.

I suppose that a lot depends on the teacher as well. Not all teachers are qualified or interested in guiding students to look at the deeper aspects of life. At the end of the day, the instructor will focus on what he wants to pass on and if the students like it they will stay.

However, I dare to say that if you aren’t learning about yourself through your hard training you just aren’t being open to it. It amazes me how much we can learn about our personalities while dealing with hardship and yes; a forearm across the throat qualifies as a hardship!

jason Chih KNOXX

BEING IN A BAD POSITION

At some point you’re going to be smashed. Maybe your opponent is twice your size and he has you in a tight side control position with his shoulder pressuring your jaw. How do you feel in this situation? Of course no one is happy to be there, but the reactions I see vary widely. Some will thrash about in a panic, trying to relieve the pressure. Others will wait calmly until there is an opening to escape. Finally, some will be overcome by the stress and pressure and may even tap from the position.

GETTING TAPPED

Everyone taps. How do you react when it happens to you? Some will slam their fist on the mat, curse, and continue the roll, looking for revenge. Others will smile and continue, trying not to commit the same mistake again. Finally, others will mentally berate themselves for making the mistake and will ponder their worthiness all night long.

GETTING INJURED

Train long enough and a somewhat serious injury is bound to happen sooner or later. What we practise is a combat sport and if we are training with a reasonable level of intensity, well, s**t happens. Again, the reactions after an injury vary greatly. Some may get depressed. After all, if the injury is serious it’s going to put you out of training for a while, and that is depressing. Some students may not even resume their training, claiming that it’s “too risky”. Others may laugh off the injury and take that time to reflect, read books, and focus on rehab. Injuries happen to all of us, it’s how you react that matters.

tracy pham knoxx

GETTING OVERLOOKED

I’ve heard it a million times. “I can’t believe that guy got promoted. I’ve been training longer than him! He doesn’t deserve it.” It’s easy to feel envious of our training partners when they get promoted before us. In times like these maybe we can reflect on Carlos Gracie Sr’s words “Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are of your own.”

In case it’s not clear by now, I definitely think we can take the lessons that we learn on the mat and use them in our daily lives. I don’t think instructors necessarily need to force these lessons onto their students. The athletes who are self-aware will learn the lessons. They will become more humble through their beatings on the mat. They will become more respectful as they realise they don’t have all the answers.

Injuries can be looked at as setbacks. Setbacks will occur multiple times in life, whether it’s a failed relationship, or a financial problem. Maybe our lessons learned from dealing with setbacks on the mat can allow us to handle these tough times better than the non-practitioner.

BJJ training is good for our minds, bodies, and spirit. The lessons we need will come, just as long as we don’t quit.

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http://bjjstyle.com/self-development-through-bjj/

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It’s A Way of Life: 9 Aspects Of “The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle”

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The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle

Living the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle is a term that we hear a lot nowadays on BJJ websites, magazines, videos or even among our training partners and friends. For the large majority of us Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a hobby, it has become a passion and even affected the way we think, talk, look, walk, and act…So in a nutshell living the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle is taking and using what you have learned while training Jiu-Jitsu and applying that to your everyday life. Every subculture like Surf, skateboard, bodybuilding, video games, crossfit, rock climbing…has their own Lifestyle.

Here are 9 aspects of the Jiu-Jitsu Lifesyle:
1.Training Jiu-Jitsu regularly.

This is the most important in my opinion. Every BJJ training session has to be a valuable experience where you will learn something new, try a new variation on a move, or improve your sensibility for techniques.Being on the mat and drilling, repping techniques, and sparring is very important to be in touch with your BJJ roots. If you want to constantly improve your BJJ then all other type of supplemental training (weights, cardio, mental) should come after BJJ training.

2.Using the principles of Jiu-Jitsu in how you live your life.

This may be the most interesting and deep part. Jiu-Jitsu teaches use some very important lessons and all of these principles can really be used to live our lives. Here are some examples (There are so many good examples that I will do a separate article on that them very soon):

-Using technique over strength: We always hear our teachers telling us to focus more on our technique instead of using raw strength. It was only after I was rolling with Ricardo De La Riva (I outweighed him by a good 30 kilos) and he wasn’t using any strength, just pure technique and destroying me gently that I realized that technique is way more important than strength. In life also you should try to be gentle, charming and skillful instead of just being a brute forcing their way with people. For example, if you just scream and bully your employees, you will never get any good result in the long run. On the other hand if you find out what motivates them, and play with their qualities, and convince them, you will have results for life.

bjj ls

-Maximum efficiency with minimum effort: This is similar to the one before where you will look to achieve your goal by spending the least energy possible. For example, If your opponent is using (wasting) all his strength to control you, you can relax and wait for him to move to seize the opportunity to capitalize on the situation and use it to your advantage. In life, if you have to do something, use the most efficient and least time consuming way.

-When you have a problem, go for the submission: You have something that is bothering you, go and solve it right away. Someone has asked to you to do something, go take care of it right away. Do not leave it for later. Take care of your obligations or problems or they will just get bigger.

-Use strategy to solve a complicated problem: When your opponent has a very good guard, you have to conquer his guard step by step by using the right strategy and timing. Same thing in real life where planning is everything.

-He who dares wins, Seize opportunities: When you are rolling, keep your eyes and ears open, as opportunities are everywhere: a foot or wrist is there to be taken etc..In life, opportunities and ideas that will change your life or business are all around for you to seize. Take a chance.
There are so many more of these so stay tuned for more of these in a separate article!

shaka
Eating healthy.

Eating like a true BJJ athlete is more than just eating Acai, drinking watermelon juice and Coconut water :) Training everyday is taxing on the body and we need to feed our bodies with the right fuel. Think of your body as a Ferrari. If you fill it everyday with low quality oil (junk food), your car will eventually break down. It’s the same thing with your body. Good food should make you feel refreshed and energized, not heavy and slow. Eating healthy and clean is an investment in your long term well being. I like eating some junk food sometimes but in moderation off course.

Sleeping well.

Our bodies repair when we rest and more specially when we sleep well. We all know that we aren’t the same on the mat when we had a full nights sleep and when we just slep a few hours. For further reading about benefits of sleep, read this article.

Using the BJJ lingo in everyday life.

Many BJJ players that have Brazilian professors, will pick up some of the expressions and Brazilian accent that they hear everyday. Word like “Hespect”, “My Fren”, “Bro”, “Caralho”, “Porra”, “Pay attention”, “Ok Guys” may be used in everyday conversation with confused non BJJ friends…

 

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Competing often.

Very often the whole “competition experience” can make you more engulfed in the whole BJJ lifestyle. The fact of travelling, supporting and bonding with your BJJ team mates over a weekend strengthens bonds and friendships much more than just training in the gym.

Wearing Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle wear.

I remember when I first started training, I was watching old vhs tapes of Walid Ismael and the guys from Carlson Gracie wearing Bad Boy T shirts and other Brazilian brands like Hunter, Hot Blood. Those brands were unavailable in France back then and I couldn’t wait to wear them and represent Jiu-Jitsu everywhere! Nowadays it’s still the same. Wearing BJJ wear like shirts, fight shorts, hoodies caps, marks that you belong to the BJJ clan. You can be sure that anybody who wears a BJJ shirt, is really a BJJ player. It is not like surfing when if you see a guy wearing a Quicksilver shirt, he probably doesn’t surf in real life…

Using the Hang loose/Shaka Symbol everywhere.

This symbol is used alot in Surf culture and since BJJ came from Brazil where many BJJ guys were also surfers, it stayed.

shaka

Representing Jiu-Jitsu at all times.

Being a disciple of Jiu-Jitsu and spreading the good word. Our sport is growing at a steady pace. The are regions in the world where it is already mainstream like Brazil and the US is getting there, but other areas still need us to grow the sport through word of mouth.

It is important to use the principles of Jiu-Jitsu to make you a better person and to not over exaggerate to the point of becoming a extremist and taking other important things like family and career for granted. All in all Jiu-Jitsu should be a positive aspect in your life. Enjoy the Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle!

It’s A Way of Life: 9 Aspects Of “The Jiu-Jitsu Lifestyle”

Check out http://www.knoxxgear.com for our latest apparel for your training needs.