How to do Darwin proud

portland judo

Here is an excellent piece from SBG East Coast Coach Steve Whittier that sums up the SBG training philosophy perfectly.

On occasion I have asked my students the following question:
“What is the #1 aspect of your jiu-jitsu game to focus on, that will allow you to keep pace with even much younger, more athletic guys for years to come?”My response – posture (or timing also being acceptable) – and the reasons why.

But coming back to that question for a moment, it’s interesting to see how many people, including those who are actually “40 plus”, will cite conditioning as the number one factor.

I get A LOT of email (I appreciate your thoughts…and try to answer as many questions as possible).

And the number of times the issue of “gassing out,” using too much strength or explosiveness comes up is informative…Basically, it all boils down to something we all know is at the very foundation of jiu-jitsu: efficiency.

Don’t get me wrong. Being in shape is important, and having great cardio can be a great boon to your game. Especially when it comes to competition, where strength and conditioning can play a great factor.

However, in case you’re tempted to forget the lessons of Darwin, let’s make no mistake:

The best answer to the problem “I keep getting arm barred” is NOT:

“I need to do more bicep curls!”And while we may all have met a knuckle dragger or two in our BJJ travels, I am very sure that you are not one of them…

But given that this is a pretty savvy crowd, when it comes to actual, real-time application on the mat, how many times have you (or those you trained with) started to veer toward the lower end of the evolutionary scale and had your first response to mat exhaustion be that you “need to run or work out more?”I’ve already written a bit about mental relaxation even while being focused and assertive,
and physical relaxation even when being competitive….

And this lesson (one you already know but sometimes need to be reminded of) goes
hand-in-hand with that.

Your body will follow you mind, and if your mind is relaxed, flexible, and perceptive during
a roll – and perhaps most important of all…enjoying it – then you are much more likely to
train with greater efficiency.Which often masquerades as “great cardio.”

Fact is, the best cardio for jiu-jitsu is jiu-jitsu cardio – which means that you have adapted your posture and timing to the flow of the game.

This is why there are quite a few very solid black belts who would be hard pressed to run to the end of the street to catch a bus, but will thoroughly enjoy a 40 minute roll without resting.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly speaks to the awesome
efficacy of this art we call BJJ!

Let efficiency be your guide.