Balanced Blog

Our thoughts on fitness, personal growth, and your general well being!

1. Lack of flexibility

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.

We know, you're an experienced grappler and you like to roll a lot. You think warm ups are stupid because instead of running around the mat you would rather be drilling live or rolling, right?

Wrong. Muscle activation is a real thing, that helps in many ways to strengthen and correct muscular imbalances. But wait, you want to roll forever right? Longevity is as much of an art as the pajama scramble, and it only comes to those who take the extra time to ensure it.

Back injuries are the most common problem in our sport, caused by poor posture during the day, and the absence of the proper muscles doing their share of the work. Our posture in jiu jitsu can compound this problem, especially if your dominantly a guard player or love the berimbolo or rubber guard or just get stacked a lot.

Jiu jitsu creates a vehicle for success through personal ownership and a growth mindset. To achieve skill in jiu jitsu, one must stop making the same mistakes and instead grow to create new answers for problems that had once been impossible. This concept of self-reflection, followed by redirection and the will to do better, will carry over easily from inside to outside the dojo.

Did you know October is National Bully Prevention Month? I didn’t even know that was a thing until my child’s PRESCHOOL sent us an announcement about it. Really…preschool. Kids are already being bullied in baby school. Once we found out about this, my husband Thomas Williams – our Jiu Jitsu instructor – asked if he could talk to the school about bullies, bully prevention, and even stranger danger awareness. As we have been doing this we have noticed a few things that parents should keep in mind.

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