Train For Sustainability

Posted on Posted in Jiujitsu Talk

The human body is fragile.

We learn this very quickly in Jiu Jitsu. The biggest and strongest people in the gym feel the same pain as everyone else when caught in a tight submission. I have to say a lot of obvious things here, but some people honestly don’t know. We have to preserve both ourselves and our training partners. Both in short term and long term habits. We will start with short term.

Don’t purposely crank joint locks.

Yes, we need to explore the game and understand the precise limits of what we do. But we also need to preserve our training partners. If you crank an armbar for a panic tap every time, very few people will train with you. In live rolling, focus on controlling the position first. Disclaimer: if they have time to tap and still don’t, they must have needed the lesson. Drill to the tap so you understand how it works, accuracy will come with repetition.

Choke the Neck!!!

A neck crank with a choke is legal. But it’s best to catch a clean choke. You will find yourself putting in less effort, and cranking less necks. We can’t control what others do in competition, but we can lead by example in our own gym where we spend most of our time. Chokes are the best way to keep it real and let someone take a nap if they choose not to tap. (In the adult class)

Check your own ego.

Be sincere, and do the best you can. Always help your training partners get better. But be careful about trying to teach people lessons. You will always find yourself learning as well, so be ready for it. This can happen in countless ways, so I won’t elaborate.

Pace yourself.

Everyone’s body, and personal life can handle different amounts of training. Three or more sessions per week is best. But if one class is all you can handle for now, that’s better than not training at all. Do not train twice per day for two weeks and take a month off.

Injury will happen.

You will be ok. The nature of BJJ is realistic, full resistance training. I’m not saying that we should passively accept the destruction of our bodies. Instead, we need to take each incident as a lesson. What situation led to your injury? How can it be avoided in the future? If you don’t know the answer, ask someone who is more experienced. Depending on the severity of the injury, you could be reduced to only doing warm ups for a while. But keep training! It’s very easy to settle into habits that take away from your training time.

You have three choices.

Accept that you will change over time, but don’t be a wuss.

When I discovered reverse de la riva, I used it every day for months. After a while, the inside of my hip started to hurt badly. People outside BJJ told me I was getting older, and it may be best to quit. So I quit….. playing that guard for two months. I lost a lot during that time, but my lasso guard and butterfly guard got much better. Maybe being younger would have spared some pain, but it’s fully healed now. Eventually, I learned to use them all with moderation. So why complain about a learning opportunity? In the big picture, our bodies will break down even if we don’t train. Plenty of people never train and have bad backs from office work. Minor inconveniences like this help us to put thought into how we move. With a good attitude, we can age gracefully on and off the mats.