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Should I Avoid Warm Ups In Jiu Jitsu?
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Should I Avoid Warm Ups In Jiu Jitsu?

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Exploring the benefits of the Jiu Jitsu warm up…

Gyms and instructors have their own unique way of warming up. Like a ritual that the tribe must engage in before the tribe can begin the celebration of violence.

Some gyms go the strength and conditioning route. They run circles around the mats; they engage in knee highs and bears crawls. Sometimes they find esoteric exercises that must look foolish to the uninitiated. Strength and conditioning is great if Jiu Jitsu is your only workout. Plus, if you roll when exhausted, you are forced to use only strength.

Other schools are fans of basic movements for Jiu Jitsu. They shrimp across the mat and back again. Gramby rolls, front rolls, back rolls and break falls are done continually. Beginners need to learn the fundamental movements of Jiu Jitsu like shrimping. These movements are the basic notes that the complex symphony of Jiu Jitsu is built on.

Other gyms have an elaborate system of flow rolls. They use these elaborate dances to transition from one position to another.  These flows connect position, techniques and systems. They familiarize strange positions. They put together the building blocks of Jiu Jitsu.

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Still other schools insist on drilling technique. They garner precious repetitions; melting technique into their muscle memory.

Last, some schools skip warm ups all together. They catch up; tell wars stories and talk trash before the lesson begins.  It reinforces the bonds of family and tribe.

A lot of warm ups are Jiu Jitsu’s equivalent of shadow boxing. Undoubtedly all are done with a specific goal in mind. Some schools vary between warm ups. For other schools it is the same every class.

What is your favorite way to warm up for class and why?

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