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Solo Jiu-Jitsu, Is It Possible?
For the last two weeks I have been traveling through Europe, and while it would have been amazing to make a guest appearance at a local Jiu Jitsu school there weren’t a lot of options in some places and not enough time in others. I didn’t want to come back completely stripped of Jiu Jitsu muscle memory and conditioning, so I did some research before I left on how to maintain a base level of training without someone to train with. We often get caught up in the fact that Jiu Jitsu is nearly impossible to technically train on your own, panic and give up on attempting to keep up training during our travels.
Fear not, there are plenty of solo Jiu Jitsu drills and techniques to follow to keep you up to speed and conditioned while you are away! Forcing yourself to be creative and incorporate body weight exercises into your regimen can be a great break from weight lifting and full throttle grappling. A lot of times training with weights or other various bulky gym equipment can alter how we move our own body by itself, even if you aren’t traveling you should take a few days on a regular basis to refocus on body movement and getting in tune with your muscles. The flexibility, control, and precise motion required in Jiu Jitsu cannot be replicated with the use of weights so be sure to understand how your body moves before you ask it to perform against another person. Check out this drill from Tom DeBlass!
To make the most of your solo jitsu there are a few things to think about packing and bringing along with you; a lacrosse ball, resistance bands, and a device to steam instructionals or read about jiu jitsu theory on. If you are confined to your hotel room then your best bet is going to be to go through a circuit workout. The lacrosse ball can easily be stowed in a suitcase pocket and is ideal for rolling out sore or tight muscles such as hip flexors, glutes, feet and low back. If you have enough space, a set of resistance bands can go a long way, if not then bring medium resistance ones since they are the most amenable to all exercises. Lastly, having either a tablet, computer or just your phone to watch the fanatics youtube channel or downloaded dvd’s (such as the Tom Deblass one shown above) can give you great ideas of exercises and drills to do by yourself, as well as why they are beneficial.
Step up your Solo Jiu-Jitsu practice!
I highly recommend getting in your workout before your day begins, even if you aren’t on vacation to be honest, so you have less to worry about once you are out and seeing the sights. This way you aren’t concerned with getting back at a specific time, conserving energy and altering your plans in order to ‘save’ some for later. Get up, get it done and then go have fun! If you can, try to incorporate activity into your day such as bike tours, walking tours or simply taking the stairs.
There is one extremely important aspect to staying active while on the road; stretching! No matter what you are probably sitting much more than you are used to, either in the car, train, plane...whatever your preferred mode of transportation is. Stretches can be done after you return to your room at the end of the day before you hit the hay, and benefits everyone so get your entire crew in on the action if you don’t want to seclude yourself.
High level Jiu Jitsu competitors are often on the road and need to develop a traveling procedure to keep themselves accountable and sharp on the mat, especially if they aren’t given the opportunity to drop in at a local gym for some reason. Learning to apply your knowledge without professor instruction can be incredibly beneficial even if you are a new white belt that has never competed. Next time you are on the road try working these concepts into your day and see how you feel when you get back home and step foot on the mats!
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