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by Prof. Martin Guggi – in cooperation with Prof. Bert Obernosterer and Coach Markus Miedel
I wrote about weight training before! Again, I want to say that I am not against weight training – in the end I am a big fan of it, but this does not mean that I would suggest weight lifting right away to everyone.
No one should feel ashamed because he or she is strong. In any sport, and of course also in BJJ it is only a benefit if your physical condition is well developed! We always tell our students not to roll with muscles and instead focus more on technique. But we all know that a strong student with some technical skills can be a very big challenge!!! BJJ should work also without strength and as we evolve we should start trusting and focusing more and more on technical details than on strength. If your technique works because you are stronger than you did not understand BJJ. In the end techniques should always win and our techniques should work more and more without using muscle and focusing on the right body distribution, the right timing, the right angle, the right speed and so on… but of course this is not always the case. And we have to admit, that muscle power can help our technique a lot – even if it is a shortcut sometimes.
Watching high level BJJler I feel that the smaller ones apply the principles of BJJ better than the bigger ones – because they have too! They cannot take the shortcut using power instead of details – especially when they roll with more heavier and stronger guys often. Some of them get so good that even with a small body and less muscles they are able to submit bigger and stronger opponents. But not everybody is going to become such a technical skilled wizard on the mat and for some of us – even me – the goal to dominate stronger opponents will always be a goal to look up too but perhaps we will never reach this level.
Before we think about weight lifting we should start to improve other aspects before… what we often neglect.
Training your mind
Training your technique
Training your muscles
The strongest weapon we have is our brain. In the brain we can choose our attitude and our mindset and this two tools are much more important than muscle power. How often did you train and develop your attitude, how often did you think about the right mindset you have when you spar, drill and train. How often did you think about tapping and why you lost – sometimes not because of technical weaknesses but because you trained with the wrong mindset and attitude.
One day I was a conditioning coach for an Austrian ice hockey team. There was a player who was a big fan of weightlifting and looked with 16 years already like a rock. But during the game he was afraid to go against the other players of the other teams. He did not check them and attack with his amazing physic. But his co players who were much smaller and weaker than him did. So his muscle did not help him at all because he did not have the right mindset. And one day he had to stop playing because of this… But of course the smaller payers used muscle power too… but had to develop more technique and for sure had a better mindset than the big strong guy.
The same we are talking about muscle power can be said about flexibility, cardio and explosiveness. These are all great genetic gifts but if you do not bring your technique to a maximum then you invest too much time in the wrong part of the game.
If you do have fun training and enjoy being on the mat every day then you have an amazing gift. If you have the right attitude and mindset of training and living your life nothing will stop you. Develop your techniques to a maximum and after this start supporting your body and your techniques with muscle, flexibility or anything else and you are going to have a successful journey in BJJ and in life!!!
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