Continued from Part 1
Like a Rubik’s cube that can break your arm if you twist it wrong. For every submission, there are several escapes. For every escape, there are countless counters. People compare BJJ to chess, but everything gets compared to chess. Really, this comparison is pretty apt though. You try to look into the future, learning to try predict the movements of your opponent so you can counter, throwing out a sacrifice and making them think you are over extended, but really you drew them into a trap. It’s a fantastic game, and since you learn new techniques regularly, it is vastly different every time even with the same training partner.
Let’s be honest, jiu jitsu is challenging, sometimes frustrating, but that’s probably why you’re attracted to it. The guard pass is the most dynamic movement we practice, with the greatest number of variables of reactions and outcomes. It sucks when you've been working for a guard pass over and over until you finally clear the legs, then try to secure side control only to have your opponent shrimp out and pop a knee in between the two of you. Damn, back to square one.
How can you stop it? Here’s a few things I do that I’ve learned over the years:
I’m so glad to be a member of the Balanced Bodies team, and I just wanted to start off with a bit of an introduction. Who am I and what do I do!? My name is Katy (sometimes Farmer Katy, usually Yoga Katy), I teach Yoga, I am training in Massage, and I am learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I am loving all of these directions, but Yoga came first for me. I remember when I first tried yoga with my mom in the nineties. Picture the big curly hair, the floral prints (clothes and couches), huge plastic glasses (wait those are back in?) and that soft glow that seems to be inseparable from that time. Just for fun I wanted to share the trailer I found for that old video.
I know I’m not the most flexible guy in the gym, but I used to be much worse. I usually shied from rubber guard, and when I didn’t I’d have to compensate space for lack of flexibility. I would always cringe at the idea of being stacked, and when it happened, I was at a loss for whatever submission I had been attempting. Not only was it limiting my jiu jitsu performance but it was also injuring me. Then I met a yoga instructor (who is now my wife). I had no idea how important the mobility aspect was or how much more enjoyable doing yoga would make BJJ for me.
The best thing I took away from it was when I hurt my lower back. My hips, like those of many other jiu jitsu practitioners, are overworked. Because of this my back went out and I bulged a disc. To fix it, I followed a series of stretches for the hips and my back healed right up. I still use those stretches to maintain hip flexibility and increase mobility. If it wasn’t for those stretches, I doubt I would have been able to continue with BJJ. I highly recommend a good yoga program. The type I take is called Hatha yoga and its focus is restorative. Because I already do jiu jitsu, which is very fast and athletic, I don’t want a yoga style that mirrors this. Yoga being so different from a combat art it gives me a very satisfying sense of balance.
First rule for a boy scout, Great tip for a massage client.
I tell my clients all the time “This massage can only be as good as you allow it to be.” Typically I am referring to having open communication with them but I have noticed there are several things that can make or break a massage.
There are several reasons to learn jiu jitsu. While almost any reason is a good one, here are Thomas’ top 3 reasons:
Because Dr. OZ said to, duh. But seriously though. I recently read an article written for Dr. OZ’s blog that raved about the benefits of coconut oil. The article has a lot to say about the health benefits of ingesting coconut oil, from lowering cholesterol to freeing the body of yeast and even weight loss. It barely skims the surface of how amazing it to use on your hair, skin, nails, and even for sexual health too! Yeah, we are going there.