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In BJJ Grip Strength Is Everything

In BJJ Grip Strength Is Everything


Grip strength is everything when it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other grappling martial arts...

How well you can grip your opponent depends on how well you can control their movement and posture. Grips are not only important when training in the gi, they are just as important in no gi as well. So no matter which you prefer it is very important to recognize grip strength as a vital tool in your game. The best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu commpetitors in the world are usually the ones who get their grips set first during the match or training roll. These competitors seem to have the natural ability to find "a good grip" from anywhere. Also, their ability to break grips when their opponent get's their own jiu jitsu grip can create the difference between a win and a loss.

If you've ever had the opportunity to go with a top jiu jitsu fighter or judo player, their grips are insane. It's like once they get a hold of you, you ain't going ANYWHERE.


If there are two people who understand this well they are US Olympic Judo Coach Jimmy Pedro and his protégé Olympic Judo Medalist Travis Stevens. Travis Stevens will be the first to tell you just how important grip strength is for Judo Fighters. Jimmy Pedro (World Champion, Olympic medalist 4x Olympian, US Judo Coach and Travis Stevens’ Head Coach) has developed a system of grip fighting that has helped with great success for team USA Judo in recent world and Olympic competitions. One thing to consider is that if you want a strong grip game for jiu jitsu or grappling in general, unfortunately you're going to have to add some supplementary training outside of the mat. There are different types of grips you will employ, this simply can mean the difference between gi based grips and no gi based "clinching" grips. Let's explore the types of grips for jiu jitsu from a strength training perspective from these two Judo legends.

There are many different philosophies and methods to improving your grip strength. In the video below Travis Stevens is going to demonstrate three different exercises to build Olympic level grip strength. Travis Stevens has an extraordinary level of experience when it comes to fighting on the ground and has proven it against some of the highest level competitors in the world like Tim Springs and others.

Build Olympic Grip Strength With USA Judo Star Travis Stevens

The first exercise you will have your partner make a bicep curl so that his arm forms a triangle on his body. Take a gi grip on the opposite side of the bicep curl. Now take your free hand and try to force your finger tips inside the middle of the triangle by shoving your hand in deep as possible. Once you get it in, take it back out and try again. You want to get the feeling like you are digging in for the under hook. The second exercise Travis Stevens demonstrates has your partner facing belly down on the floor. Your training partner will want to keep his arms in nice and tight. You have the same position as you did in the first exercise but there is a little bit more resistance now factoring in your training partner’s body weight. The third exercise Travis Stevens shows us is a bit more practical. Stevens starts this one off in a position similar to bottom half guard when his opponent is in the knee slice position. Travis wraps his forearm around the back of the knee. The goal here is to force your hand open and closed with all the weight crushing your forearm. Take note of the strain in Travis Stevens’ hand. That is not him closing it. That is the weight of his training partner’s leg. You want to get your grip comfortable in this position. This will help you be comfortable grabbing for different opportunities in this position without getting tired.

Grip Fighting by The Best Judo Coach In US History - Jimmy Pedro

Grip power can be classified into three main categories, pinching, crushing and hanging / holding. These three grip strength categories are of great relevance for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Crushing can be seen as that grip existing between the palm and the fingers like crushing a can or shaking hands, this could be enhanced with various grip trainers. Different type of games will need different grip strength. Also, there will be a difference in the grips utilized in the no gi and the gi for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While every single individual might prefer certain grips as compared with others at a particular point during rehearsals, grips different from your favorites should be utilized. Due to this, every Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial artist has to develop his / her grip in different positions. These positions are typically dictated by the type of Jiu Jitsu game you want to play.

The grip training mostly for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu should not be too difficult. Three principles should be adhered to whenever it concerns grip strength training exercises. Firstly, Brazilian Jiu jitsu grip training has to copy the kinds of grips that are used in Brazilian Jiu jitsu training. Just squeezing a grip trainer in your car is not going to make your grips better for BJJ. Second, grip training doesn't need to be a huge additional training endeavor. Yes supplemental training is necessary for BJJ, but it should never replace. The third principle is that the grip training you do should not hurt your Jiu Jitsu. If your grips are always shot from doing too much grip training, then what's the point of doing it if your grips are always show.

It's no secret that grips are one of the major secrets to improving your jiu jitsu game. If your grips suck, you suck at jiu jitsu... sorry, but it's true. In order to get good grips, you need to train your grip strength. Judo players are known for their gripping patters and strength. Your grip strength will determine a lot when it comes to being a well rounded Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player, so do not forget to work on it! Having 3 simple exercises like the ones Travis Stevens has shared with us can go a long way in improving your game.

It's no secret that grips are one of the major secrets to improving your jiu jitsu game. If your grips suck, you suck at jiu jitsu... sorry, but it's true. In order to get good grips, you need to train your grip strength. Judo players are known for their gripping patters and strength. Two of the best American Judo Fighters / Coaches: Travis Stevens and Jimmy Pedro share with you the secrets of judo grip fighting for Jiu jitsu.


Consider to check other related blogs:

Gable Grip

BJJ Georgian Grip


Grip Fighting


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