On the battlefield, there are no options for submitting and ending a fight. Losing a fight in a war-zone means the warrior loses their life. As such, martial arts have evolved to be devastating and fully realized systems for doing the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. Jiu Jitsu, developed in feudal Japan under the guidance of the Samurai, is one such martial art. Jiu Jitsu techniques revolve around breaking limbs, smashing faces into the ground and using painful pressure points to defeat opponents.
Despite its dangers, Jiu Jitsu is a popular martial art. Many people, from many different backgrounds find this Japanese system of self-defense to be interesting and worthy of their time and effort. In fact, JuJitsu training is quickly becoming as well known as other popular martial arts. The question then becomes how to engage in JuJitsu training without doing too much damage to the body.
General Fitness for JuJitsu Training
As with any Martial Art, a higher level of general fitness will be a great asset. Most JuJitsu classes are taught quite intensively. Practice periods are often expected to be undertaken at high speeds so without a base level of fitness, a participant may find themselves quite tired quite quickly!
Aerobic exercise is a great way to prepare the lungs and heart for martial arts training. As a beginner, simply getting into the habit of a daily run will help with performance. As a more advanced student, running weekly is a good choice, swimming, biking or anything else that will get the heart rate up.
As Jiu Jitsu and many other martial arts will put the trainee through intense but short periods of activity, the anaerobic system is also important. A few exercises to train this bodily system are sprinting exercises, dynamic warm-ups and sports such as Squash or Tennis.
Joint and Muscle Health in Martial Arts Training
Occasionally, participants in the Martial Arts can become too enthusiastic about the training they are going through. This means that sometimes locks or moves will be put on too quickly or with too much force. A wise practioner will want to avoid injury at all costs, so undertaking some additional joint and muscle training will help a great deal.
- Jiu Jitsu focuses on the wrists, elbows and shoulders in its locking techniques. It is challenging to strengthen these areas of your body as there are no muscles within the joints themselves. However, it is possible to stengthen the muscles around them. As an example, forearm strength training will help to build endurance in the wrists. Bicep and tricep strength will provide help to the elbow and shoulder training through push-presses will also help.
- Strength is important but just as important is flexibility. The major muscle groups that should be focused on for martial arts flexibility are the hamstrings and calf muscles, as well as the shoulders and upper back. As most techniques originate in and target these areas of the body, flexibility is paramount to training effectively.
If one is just starting out on their martial arts journey, a full schedule of exercise may not be necessary. In fact, just attending class may be enough to start the body’s journey toward fitness. However, as one’s ability and interest in Jiu Jitsu increases, there will undoubtably be a desire for improved performance and safety. By following some of the guidelines in this article, a practioner will be able to train their bodies for the rigors of the ancient Japanese form of self-defense.
Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques Are Effective
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has only been around for a relatively short period of time. The History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu indicates that the martial art originated in the earlier part of the 20th Century, when a Japanese man named Mitsyua Maeda visited Brazil to spread the Judo of Jigoro Kano. The art grew from those humble beginnings and over the years was honed by the efforts of Helio Gracie and his family. Later in the Century, the Gracie family put their Martial Art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the test by taking on all-comers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Constant refining of techniques and a training method that concentrates on competitive interaction is what makes this art so effective.
Competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Matches
There are many different approaches to teaching in the Martial Arts. Some schools will practice Kata, or forms for hours upon hours in order to drill knowledge into the student’s head. This has the added effect of improving discipline and patience. Some other schools will take a more laid back approach to learning, allowing students to learn at their own pace in a relaxed environment. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, like many competitive sports, takes a different route. Although instructors in this art will showcase BJJ techniques, the majority of a person’s learning takes place through competitive interaction with other students.
The reason that competitive or intense training makes for an effective martial art is that every technique is constantly being checked for quality and effectiveness. Anything that proves to be ineffective in a competition will likely be forgotten about, no longer taught due to the fact that it will not work “in reality.”
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Technique Refinement
Because BJJ is a relatively new Martial Art, and its inventors, the Gracie family, have a modern outlook on the world of Martial Arts, there is a great amount of space within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the refinement of techniques. Although the Gracie family is quite strict regarding the quality of their Black Belts, they are quite accepting of growth within their style of Martial Art. This means that any instructor with experience will be able to refine technique and try out new things, without fear of offending a traditional code or syllabus. As such, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a more “free” Martial Art.
One looking to train in BJJ or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu should keep one thing in mind, however. A great deal of the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu comes from ground-grappling or “ne waza.” This means that BJJ is an effective Martial Art as long as there is a limitation of “x-factors” such as additional attackers or weapons.