BJJ When No Ones Watching
As practitioners and fans of the gentle art, we eagerly wait for and watch the large competitions, super fights and matches rooting for our favorite athletes. It's easy to watch these events and maybe the little bit of "behind the scenes" footage we are able to get our hands on via YouTube or some other source, and compare our own BJJ skills and think about putting our Gi's and rashguards in the classifieds and moving on to an activity more fitting of our abilities, like chess or crossword puzzles.
But the reality is that we see perhaps less than 10% of the sport's top athletes' daily life and preparation for these large events, or even their daily preparation when they're not training for a high stakes competition. The truth is that very few of us have any clue what "the grind" of jiu jitsu can really mean. There are thousands of athletes who spend nearly every waking hour training, while holding down full time jobs and having other responsibilities like school and family. There are literally hundreds of thousands of hours being spent across the landscape of jiu jitsu by athletes at every belt level as they work towards their goals.
Case in point would be the video below featuring world champion and one of the most accomplished Japanese BJJ athletes ever Rikako Yuasa. In the video, we see over an hour of solo drills and body movements that Rikako completes everyday. This would be in addition to her normal training schedule.
Garry Tonon who is Tom DeBlass' first black belt and one of his most successful students, has shared with BJJ Fanatics in a past interview that when he was focused solely on grappling and submission only competitions, he was training about 50 hours per week. And that was the time, he felt he was making the most progress as a competitor. 50 hours. So remember the next time you see a 10 minute jiu jitsu match, remember that thousands upon thousands of hours went into that performance for each athlete and if you want to get there, you'd got to be willing to do the things they do when no one is watching.
Check out Alexandre Vieira's "The Crucifix and Loop Choke" instructional from BJJ Fanatics! Voted one of the best submissions of 2017, his loop choke will have your opponents and training partners avoiding you like the plague with this knowledge. Check it out here!