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BJJ GAUNTLET
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BJJ GAUNTLET

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a game of strategy, but it also can be highly energetic, and dynamic with many of its core transitions. The bjj systems has a series of fundamental movements, and a set of more advanced techniques that all students will learn over time.

What this article covers:

Many Jiu Jitsu athletes train extensively so they can become world class competitors, as the rise of international grappling like the IBJJF, the ADCC, and other prestigious tournaments like Fight 2 Win, and Who's Number One are now dominating the world arena of submission grappling. Higher level athletes will train even harder for competition, as they delve into the realms of shark tank training, which is also known as the BJJ gauntlet. This type of training is highly repetitious, and will help an athlete gain significant fight conditioning, as they prepare for high level tournaments in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts. There is another meaning for the BJJ gauntlet, and this is when a student is promoted to the next belt rank. This is where students will line up on either side of the mat, and participate in a traditional ritual where a newly promoted student will take off their shirt, and walk the gauntlet whilst being whipped by all of their training partner's belts. Some people may find this ritual barbaric, but to many BJJ practitioners it is what they like to call the right of passage.

Learn the complete BATTLE TESTED passing system from 5X World Champion Bernardo Faria known for crushing through his opponent's guard at will.  Get it here at BJJFanatics.com!

gauntlet bjj

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DO ALL ATHLETES HAVE TO COMPETE

When students begin training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they will soon discover how fun, but challenging the combat sport actually is. As they begin to progress through the ranks, they will start to gain intricate knowledge about many of the systematic movements that are fundamental, and complicated. One question that newer students will often ask their instructors is do you have to compete in bjj. No students are expected to compete, nor are they forced to compete, but they are however highly encouraged to complete. This is because competing at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments is not only great for the confidence of an athlete, it is so that they can experience Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a real life conflict situation. Training inside an academy among friends is extremely hard to simulate into a real life or death situation, but BJJ competitions are the closest that a student will get to learning real life self defense skills.

Students that take the leap of faith, and begin participating at the competition level will see vast improvements in their overall Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is where a student can battle test all of their knowledge, and skills they have learnt inside of their academy. It is one aspect to become highly proficient in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but to know that it can work in a real life situation makes this art extremely formidable. Competing at tournaments is also extremely fun, and students will make new friends while getting to experience the amazing atmosphere that the BJJ community offers. Jiu Jitsu competition is the breeding ground for champions, as many new students have battled through their first two years of competition only to gain enough experience to climb the ladder, and become world class athletes. Nowadays BJJ has reached epic levels of prestige, as foundations like the IBJJF, and the ADCC are giving outstanding opportunities to many up and coming athletes.

PREPARING FOR BJJ COMPETITION 

Training for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition goes far beyond the physical preparation, as an athlete needs to come mentally prepared. There are a lot of distractions that can affect how an athlete will train in the lead up to a competition. Staying consistent, and maximising an athlete's training proficiency is how they can become successful. Mental preparation is achieved by using an athlete's BJJ school as the rehearsal for competition. Learning how to win in jiu jitsu always begins inside the academy, as a successful athlete is only as good as their training partners. Athletes will need to work extremely hard on their techniques, and their live rolling rounds. A good tip for prospective competitors is to roll with a certain goal in mind, because always rolling to the submission is not the best way to excel within the sport. 

Athletes will need to work extensively on all parts of their BJJ game style, this may mean that instead of rolling, and trying to win they could be putting themself in bad positions, so they can improve their submission defense. Working on a strategy to win competitive matches is imperative, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by designing their game plan on the training mats. If an athlete wants to be able to pass anyone's guard, then they should be setting the goal inside of their live roll. This means once again instead of rolling to the submission, they may choose to attempt to pass their training partner's guard, while their partner is attempting to sweep, or submit them, and once they have passed the guard they can reset, and continue to do this repetitively. This kind of training is more specialised, and will help an athlete become technically proficient in each aspect they decide to train.

HOW TO CONDITION FOR BJJ

There are many different ways to condition an athlete's body for combat sports. Firstly athletes need to have cardio, and strength so they can use explosive movements, and not tire out their muscles too quickly. Conditioning for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu goes beyond rolling on the mats, and students need to incorporate aspects of strength training, cardio workouts, stretching exercises, and mobility workouts. The key aspect about conditioning for BJJ is balancing the right workouts, and scheduling a workout routine that will maximise an athlete's output, while still allowing ample time to recover in between workouts. It is still important for an athletes bjj progression to train in grappling at least three times a week, and then adding one, or two strength workouts, where this could be weightlifting, or kettlebell training on one night, and isometrics, plyometrics, or resistance band training on another. Having a good cardio session like hill sprints, high resistance running, cycling, or swimming will help boost an athlete's cardiovascular power, and their explosive strength. Having a couple of rest days per week is also important, but these rest days can also be utilised to do stretching techniques, or mobility exercises, as well as light and easy technique lessons in BJJ.

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RUNNING THE GAUNTLET 

The term running the gauntlet has been made famous through various platforms, and is also known as shark tanking. What this means is for one athlete to roll against several opponents in a specific amount of time. This workout is designed to tire an athlete out, while their opponents are coming in strong, and fresh. Running the BJJ gauntlet will help athletes exponentially when they are in the middle of a tough match, and need to dig deep. They will be able to call on their experience from being extremely tired, and still will be able to show heart, strength, coordination, and function. The aim of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gauntlet is for each opponent to roll with an athlete for at least two minutes, and push the pace on them. This can be achieved with several athletes participating, and usually by the third, or fourth opponent into the gauntlet the athlete will become extremely tired, and will need to use their defensive skills well, if they wish to remain unchoked. This kind of training is utilised by high level athletes, and will substantially help an athlete increase their fitness, and their experience in grappling. Utilising a gauntlet is great for athletes competing out of their bjj weight divisions, because they can simply ask many of their higher weighted athletes to join in the gauntlet. The sheer fact of rolling against five, or six different opponents one after another, can also simulate competing against heavier athletes. The more tired an athlete gets during a gauntlet means the heavier their opponent feels, and as they begin to run out of energy they must rely upon instincts to survive.

Running the gauntlet has another meaning, as it also refers to when a student is promoted to their next belt rank. The old tradition says that once an athlete is given their next belt, they are to walk the BJJ gauntlet. Although many people might find this practise brutal, and outdated, many BJJ practitioners reserve the right to take this honour that is bestowed upon them. To walk the gauntlet means to take off the Gi jacket, and walk bare chested from one end of the mats to the other. Students will line up on either side of the mats, and as the newly promoted student walks the gauntlet each student will whip them with their BJJ belt. Many athletes have walked this path, and always come out covered in welts, and bruises. This does seem barbaric to many, but for a traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete this is a right of passage. Many athletes have spoken about how it makes them feel initiated into the next belt level. Nowadays many of the new age academies do not participate in this tradition, as the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community is divided about this old, and traditional ceremony.

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DIVERSIFY TRAINING

There is a significant importance in having diversity within an athlete's training makeup. This means to branch out beyond the normal parameters of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. An athlete that only trains inside their academy will no doubt still become extremely skillful within the art, but there is a better way to unlock a greater potential. This is where diversity comes into training, as students will need to combine different elements from other Martial Arts like Wrestling, Sambo, and Judo, but they will also need to complement their BJJ with strength and conditioning workouts, cardio based workouts, flexibility workouts, and mobility exercises. Each piece of the puzzle will help an athlete become an all round athlete, which in turn will give them a greater opportunity for success. Adding diversity to an athletes training regime is not only good for the core values of their game, it is incredibly good for their overall life balance. 

One thing that can happen to an athlete is they may burnout pretty quickly, and the main reason an athlete will burnout is through constant repetition without any differences incorporated. Athletes can go through the motions of learning the same thing day in and day out, and this can become problematic, which is why they should add diversity to their game. Sometimes it can be a simple going to a different gym, and cross training so they can meet new people, and discover different styles of Jiu Jitsu. There is also some significance in picking up a pair of focus mitts, and sharpening some of their striking skills, and even though striking is not allowed in BJJ it can help sharpen an athlete's skill in grappling. The one good thing about striking is the footwork involved, and this can translate into how a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete performs in the stand up game. Becoming proficient in Jiu Jitsu comes down to balance, as an athlete that is overworked will often miss many of the concepts they need to understand. Having a good balance between training, rest, and personal life will ensure that a student is in the right frame of mind, and will continue to push forward with their progression. 

RECOVERY AND INJURY PREVENTION 

Training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can have a heavy toll on an athlete. The rigorous training regime that BJJ involves can have students pushing too hard, and overworking themselves. A good athlete will not only work on their game, strength, and fitness, but they will also create perfect harmony between all of these things including recovery, injury prevention, and nutrition methods. Knowing what to eat before jiu jitsu is extremely important, as a balanced, and nutritious diet will help athletes feel better, last longer, and recover quicker. Knowing when to take rest days is vital to the progression of a BJJ athlete, as sometimes coming back day after day, and training hard can be a detriment to an athlete. This is especially true for older athletes, as they will need more significant rest periods then a younger athlete who is in their prime. Understanding the balance between putting in the work, and giving their bodies the rest it needs for their muscles to grow, is crucial in firstly giving athletes a strong body, and secondly preventing injuries from occurring.

Learn the complete BATTLE TESTED passing system from 5X World Champion Bernardo Faria known for crushing through his opponent's guard at will.  Get it here at BJJFanatics.com!

Running the BJJ gauntlet

Preventing injuries is an extremely important concept in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The art of grappling is highly intense, with a series of dynamic movements, which can have an impact on the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones of an athlete. This is where injury prevention methods come into play, as an athlete should understand how their body works, and know when enough is enough. Overdoing it is quite common amongst athletes that are obsessed with BJJ, but if they are to achieve longevity in the sport, they will need to allow their bodies to recoup. The human body works just like an engine of a car, if it is driven too much and not enough fluids are poured into it, the engine will eventually overheat. This reigns true with BJJ athletes, as they should be taking rest periods, and using them to work on flexibility, and mobility exercises. This will help athletes remain free from any niggling injuries that may occur during training. One of the biggest aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is injuries that may occur to many of their rotational limbs, so this is why the importance of mobility exercises is crucial to helping an athlete. Improving a greater range of motion within all of their joints is a great way to prevent injuries from happening during training. An athlete that has tight shoulders will eventually run into trouble, when they could have simply incorporated some mobility exercise to avoid any future problems. Of course there will always be injuries that are unavoidable, but to achieve longevity in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, students need to incorporate rest, recovery, and injury prevention as a part of their training regimes.

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