BJJ Tips: The Myths of BJJ / Grappling: Using Your Whole Body

You may have read somewhere that in BJJ / Grappling you are supposed to use your whole body against a part of your opponent's.

Well, I'm going to go out on a limb (no pun intended) and say that not true. At least not entirely.

Now before you click SEND on that hate mail, hear me out. While it IS important to employ a large structure and a solid frame against your opponent's muscular strength, it is just as important to learn what and when to relax. You shouldn't try to use your whole body all the time. Yes you will and should use your whole body during the full Grappling / BJJ session, but in synergistic cycles.

From a technical standpoint: you should dedicate a large part of your mat time to refining this. This is how the experts make the hard look easy.

From an athletic standpoint: explosiveness and endurance are the combat athlete's most valuable attributes and relaxation lies at the core of both of these.

“Ok I'm sold”, I hear you say, “How do I go about developing this?”

Preparation: pick a BJJ / Grappling position and write down the muscles that should be used in it.

Now get a training partner and get into this position and actively question every muscle you catch tensing. Is it on the list? Should it be tense? When you are satisfied move on to another position and when you are really good it's time to start looking at movement. Transitioning efficiently between positions that you hold efficiently until you can, yes you guessed it, efficiently submit your opponent. That's what makes this game so beautiful.

Ps. This is gonna take time! But hey, as Karl always says, time’s all we’ve got!

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