|Changing it up|
The purpose of this blog is to focus on the importance of cross-training for the Jiu Jitsu player. Judoka's spend 90% of their training on the feet working different throwing techniques, while Jiu Jitsu players spend 90% on ground techniques. Now, it doesn't take a genius to realize putting these two sports together is a great idea. Take the leap and go outside your comfort zone, learn a new style and see how it enhances your overall grappling game.
Cross Training for BJJ
by Sean Apperson, August 2011
I have come to realize that a well-balanced Jiu Jitsu game ALSO includes the likes of Judo and wrestling. It's been a training focus of mine over the past few years to incorporate more stand up training into my style and the results have been shocking. I have seen huge jumps in my jiu jitsu level by cross-training judo and wrestling. The training has helped my top pressure and scrambling ability, my defense to single legs off opponents side control escapes, my offense from my back being able to reverse opponents with wrestling, and my sweep defense and overall base. Also, the gripping knowledge I have gained from Judo has increased my ground control and has allowed me to break offensive grips with ease. In the past I figured it was best to focus on the traditional style of sweeps and submissions and guard passes. I also worried that training judo/wrestling would lead to serious injury that would take me off the mat. I was always amazed how a solid wrestler with a blue belt level in jiu jitsu could neutralize some good guard players and win in tournaments. The reality is guys coming from Judo/wrestling background who fall in love with jiu jitsu are becoming well rounded while the traditional BJJ players are stuck in their ways. I think its best to break down your game into categories and give yourself a score (1-10) and see where your holes truly are. Sample categories are: guard passing, guard offense (sweeps/subs), escapes, posture, scramble ability, wrestling, judo, mount, back, turtle, etc. Now, as far as injuries wrestling and judo are very explosive sports that can lead to serious injury. However, if you train smart and incorporate a lot of light sparring with resistance drills instead of always FULL training you can reduce the chances of serious injury. Also, being comfortable on your feet and KNOWING how to fall are key to avoiding injury. I believe most serious injuries from tournaments that happen off takedowns are the result of lack of experience and proper break fall techniques. Another great aspect of cross training is avoiding burn out. Keeping it interesting and always growing your game are important when you find yourself in a training rut. Ok then get out there and mix up your game!