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Ideas On Surfing And Jiu Jitsu

Ideas On Surfing And Jiu Jitsu


Exploring Jiu Jitsu's relationship with surfing…

Surfing has had a long relationship with Jiu Jitsu. Rolls, Relson, Royler and Rickson Gracie are among the Gracies that famously surfed. Kelly Slater and Joel Tudor are legendary surfers who have gotten into Jiu Jitsu. We could name countless others who share a deep passion for both Jiu Jitsu and surfing.

So what is it that draws surfers to Jiu Jitsu and vice versa? Perhaps it is the shared feeling of being small but connected to something so much bigger or the endless possibilities that both a wave and a roll provide that draws athletes from both sports.

There are definitely some common physical attributes of both sports. Let’s take a couple moments to explore these.

 While Jiu Jitsu is the sport where technique trumps strength, the Jiu Jitsu athlete doesn’t only develop strength.  A Jiu Jitsu practitioner simultaneously develops strength and conditioning. Surfing is the same. It takes conditioning and strength to paddle out and to ride the wave in.

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Balance is another key component of both sports. Balance is required when fighting against X Guard. Balance is required to simply stand up on a surf board. Both sports enhance the athlete’s balance.

Reaction is a 3rd physical ability of Jiu Jitsu. Waves and sparring partners are unpredictable. While it is nice to anticipate what happens next that is not always realistic. Both sports require the practitioner to react quickly.

Kelly Slater once said, “Kids should do Jiu Jitsu before any other sport.” For someone with his stature in the surfing community, that is huge.  With so many similarities between sports, if you love one it only makes sense to explore the other. For the Jiu Jitsu practitioner, BJJ has had such a profound impact on so many of our lives. If surfing provides only a fraction of the value that Jiu Jitsu does, it is a worthy endeavor.

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