HOW TO WIN IN JIU JITSU
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become one of the most popular forms of combat sports in the modern era. The popularity of the art has been gaining significant momentum, especially in the last ten years. Athletes all over the world have been rolling into academies to learn these comprehensive bjj systems. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a highly dynamic series of transitional movements, which will enable a competitor to neutralise their opponent through speed, strength, technique, and strategy. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is world renowned for it's dominance in control over an opponent, with an end goal of securing a versatile range of simplistic to advanced submissions. There are many ways to win in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match, as the art has been closely related to the strategic game of chess. Students of Jiu Jitsu will use a combination of intelligence, speed, strength, and dexterity to firstly control their opponent, and secondly trap them into a series of intricate submission manuevers.
What this article covers:
- It Begins with Discipline
- Training for Success
- Developing a Game Plan
- The Strategy of War
- The Right BJJ Diet
- How Far Can Winning Take a BJJ Athlete
IT BEGINS WITH DISCIPLINE
Learning how to be successful in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition begins with discipline. Students will need to work extremely hard on the training mats, and put in a significant amount of time into many of the arts different aspects. Quite often students can be narrow minded, which leads to them only developing one, or two aspects of their game style, this may include only their dominant hand. All techniques need to be learnt on the dominant, and the non dominant sides, and all athletes need to strive for an all round, and diverse game style. Athletes need to show consistency on the mats, and not let laziness creep into their training. It can be extremely easy to put off going to training, and one thing that athletes will learn is that an opponent will train extremely hard for an upcoming battle. Sometimes when a student doesn't feel like training, forcing themself to go can be the best recipe for their mental preparation. This is how they can keep up their training, so they can match the intensity of their opponent.
Of course listening to a student's body, and making sure they don't overtrain is extremely important, but sometimes just going to training and working on some light technique, can still be good for a students mentality. Students must be disciplined with their weight coming into a competition, as all bjj weight divisions have specific weights that students need to adhere to. Having the discipline to not over eat is crucial to the viability of a student competing. Participating at a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament, a student is a representation of their academy, and must respectfully represent the values of their instructors. Having a strong mindset, and being disciplined in all aspects of their game style is highly crucial to winning competition. Students must also learn all of the bjj tournament rules, so they understand what they can, and can't do during their fight. This is a basic element of discipline, and something that all students should be extremely immersed in.
TRAINING FOR SUCCESS
Training to be highly successful in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition can come at a higher price. This means that students must work furiously in all facets of their athletic game. Working extensively on their techniques, and repetition of many of their movements, is a non negotiable to achieve success. There is a whole nother element which can help students almost guarantee success, and this is strength and conditioning. Training in pure Brazilian Jiu Jitsu may not be enough to achieve success in the competition arena. Students that bulletproof their bodies by adding strength and conditioning workouts, will increase their ability to out muscle their opponents. Nowadays most high level competitors are extremely jacked, meaning the necessity to add strength and conditioning to a student's repertoire is extremely crucial. Strength and conditioning will also help a student prevent injuries, because a stronger athlete is less likely to get injured from any impacts they may incur. Another important component for a successful athlete is the rest, and recovery process. There is no use training everyday, over using their muscles, and burning out their neural pathways, when they can quite easily just take a day of rest in between workouts. Students can train consecutive days, but should at least have two days per week where they are recovering from their extensive workout. A rest day can still involve practising technique, or going for a walk, but when it comes to strength and conditioning, training consecutive days can be detrimental to their muscle growth.
DEVELOPING A GAME PLAN
Learning how to win in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament involves developing a formidable game plan. All athletes must figure out who they are as a grappler, and understand their strengths and their weaknesses. This is crucial to an athletes training, so they can strengthen their weaknesses, and further excel in their strengths. Understanding their own game style means they can taylor make a game plan that fits their overall identity. For example a leg lock specialist will always initiate their game plan with some form of guard pull, this is so they can start to bait their opponent, and secure grips on the leg. This may be the same for a top game specialist, as they will develop a variety of takedown maneuvers that can help them secure dominant control positions. Students might have different game plans depending on who they are going to fight, and it is extremely important to have more than one plan in case there initial plan fails. Most plans never work straight away, as the biggest variable involved in a competition fight is an opponent's reaction, which can force a student to change their game plan entirely. Some opponents might be extremely hard to submit, and the student must alter their game plan so they can utilise the jiu jitsu scoring system, and grind out a win by securing more points than their opponent.
THE STRATEGY OF WAR
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is quite often referred to as a war between two exceptional athletes. All Jiu Jitsu matches have an in depth strategy involved, as the more intelligent grappler will usually win the fight. Students of the art must develop how to strategise during a live match, and this is because quite often different problems will arise during a fight. Being able to adapt on the fly, and use strategy to overcome different obstacles, is a vital element involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. Students must try to stay a few steps ahead of their opponent, so they can easily trap them into different control positions. Using a bait system is a great way to make an opponent move the way a student wants them to go. A prime example of this is using an ko uchi gari to change the balance of their opponent, so they can set up a bigger throw like a tomoe nage. This is how students can strategise, out think, and then execute manoeuvres on their opponents. Understanding the ins and outs of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is more than just learning a series of complicated techniques, it's all about learning the flow of Jiu Jitsu. A lot of BJJ movements become muscle memory, and instinctive to use, as students will be able to feel what their opponents are doing, enabling them to execute the right strategies to gain the advantage, and ultimately win the match.
THE RIGHT BJJ DIET
One of the most important aspects about becoming successful on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu mats is knowing what to eat before jiu jitsu. Eating the right foods can go along way for a student to feel better, and move more efficiently on the mats. The human body uses high levels of energy as a way to mobilise all of the body's functioning systems, and energy is stored into the body from different foods that people eat. Different foods have different calorie levels, and athletes will burn calories depending on the intensity of their workouts. An athlete that does not have enough calories to burn, will often find themselves feeling sluggish, and energy depleted. This is why it is imperative that all students eat the right amount of food, and the right kind of food, so they can properly fuel their body for athletic contests like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Combat athletes need a lot of protein, and the best way to get this intake into their body is foods like chicken, turkey, tuna, nuts, and even broccoli. High protein foods are extremely important, as well as other minerals like fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and iron. Students should research into nutrition, and work out which foods can work best for their training. This will help them exponentially in becoming more successful on the competition mats.
Not only is it important to take in the right foods for energy, what is crucial for athletes is to have the appropriate levels of hydration. Drinking plenty of water is a crucial element to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete, as they will lose a lot of sweat during a fight, and will need to replenish these minerals consistently. Drinking water is essential to helping an athlete's muscles, and many of their internal organs to function correctly. Students that do not have enough hydration in their body can end up in bad situations like passing out from dehydration. There are other intake methods that can help an athlete become more successful in competition matches, like pre workout formula, and supplements which can help an athlete. Researching what supplements can benefit a Martial Artist, can be vital towards giving an athlete the appropriate amount of minerals inside of their body. Caffeine is great for athletes, as the health benefits have been proven to help with brain function. Using caffeine before an athlete trains, or competes will help significantly with their concentration levels, and this can be vitally important to a successful athlete.
HOW FAR CAN WINNING TAKE A BJJ ATHLETE
There is nothing like stepping onto the competition mats, and having a student have their arm raised at the end of a tournament. The thrill of winning a competition is real, and students will not only celebrate a gold medal, but the title of champion. Students begin learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for many different reasons, as some include self defense, while others will do it for fun, fitness, and camaraderie. The athletes that choose to journey into the world of competitive grappling will start to enjoy the thrill of standing on the podium. Most students begin competing at the local level, before working their way up to the state championships. Winning a state title is an exciting time for a student, as they cling to the title of champion, this can also lead to promotions in the belt ranking system. Once a student gets a taste for winning, the opportunities will begin to swing wide open.
IBJJF tournaments don't just stop at the State Championships, athletes will look to improve their notoriety by winning the National Championships, which is a nationwide event. Students that continue to win can enter events like the Pan Pacific Championships, the Pan Asian Championships, the Pan American Championships, the Brazilian National Championships, the European Championships, and the most prestigious event of them all, the World Championships. Some of these events are internationally recognised, and even televised on streaming services like flo grappling. Achieving an international status can only lead to bigger, and better opportunities for students. Some of these athletes may wind up with invitations to other prestigious tournaments like the ADCC, the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Fight 2 Win, Who's Number One, Polaris, and Submission Underground. There is no limit when it comes to competing at the highest levels, as many of these world class athletes receive generous pay packets for winning competions. Becoming a world class athlete can lead to special invitations to the super fight circuit, where champions like Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, Craig Jones, Felipe Pena, and Kaynan Duarte have began dominating.
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