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Sunday, February 22, 2015

BJJ: The Home Game!

Sometimes getting to the gym is just impossible. It's not an uncommon problem that all of us will face at one point or another in our Jiu Jitsu Journey; and it will happen more than once. You've undoubtedly felt the itch to be on the mats on your days off, or felt the need to get out there and go hard and leave it all out there--and that's good. But what if you get those urges but can't get to class later that day, or even later that week? Maybe you're sick, on vacation, maybe your significant other REALLY wants you to take a break (ugh), or maybe you just live in a Rebel base on the frozen plant Hoth and your gym is closed for the weather.

Working out at home isn't a new idea. Even today we can see infomercials on TV advertising the latest home workout system, product, or DVD. The idea of doing BJJ at home might seem silly, but I'm here to tell you that not only is it productive and easy to do, but also, "es normal."

First of all, you do not need a training partner to improve your Jiu Jitsu. Of course, having someone there with you will truly expand your options on techniques and what you're able to do. But not having that luxury doesn't mean you're screwed/out of options--NAY! Quite the opposite, my frien! Think about how your instructor conducts class: you have a warm-up, the stretches, line drills, and so on. There are a lot of things you can do right there to help supplement your Jiu Jitsu. Even just stretching alone will help you tremendously, as I'm sure you already know how much of a help flexibility is in Jiu Jistu. Here is a video showing some other exercises you can do at home, on your own, to keep progressing your BJJ.

It doesn't have to stop at just drills, though. Take what we JUST did RIGHT THERE for example (watching a video). Watching videos online is huge. There has never been a time when more resources are available to you at just a few keystrokes. There are a good bit of websites out there dedicated to BJJ instructional videos. Nearly every major BJJ player has their own website where you can pay a fee to learn their techniques. But even just YouTube stuff can be more than enough. Personally, I can tell you that the pay sites are worth it. I would, however, advise that you learn what YOUR Jiu Jitsu game is like before you sign up for a year of MG InAction. (Because you might not have the same game as Marcelo. You might not be the same size, body type, or aggression. Learn who best shadows your style and go from there.) But if you're on vacation, and maybe the Internet isn't an option, grab a book. We did an entire post once about BJJ Books for beginners. 

Be mindful of your diet, too. Your time off, for whatever reason it may be, can--and will--play hell on your diet. I'm not suggesting that everyone in the world that rolls BJJ is on some hardcore Gracie Diet or anything, but we can all relate to rolling on the mats after having a heavy meal and how that will really just monkey wrench your whole system when you're trying not to die. If you're going to be off the mat for awhile, do yourself a favor and be mindful of what you're putting into your body because sooner or later you're going to be back on the mat and you'll be hating yourself for that delicious double, Animal Style, from In-N-Out. Ya dig?

Strength and Conditioning, yo. Strength. And Conditioning. 
When all else fails, when you're in a hotel room, with no BJJ Gym in the area, no room to shrimp, no kitchen to eat healthy, etc. You can still do some push-ups, jog, sit-ups, jumping jacks, sit-outs, and so on. Most hotels have a dinky gym inside that you can hit up for SOMETHING (because something is better than nothing). I can relate, I've been in a Hilton with nothing more than a few ellipticals and considered myself "too manly" for that, but, on second thought, I'd rather elliptical-it-up than nothing. And the elliptical is a legit, hardcore, workout. If you're at the beach, do your BJJ drills on the beach (Remember when Rickson did it in "Choke?"). Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was (basically) born on the beaches. Pay homage, hit up the beach, do some drills, have fun.

Remember: Nothing can replace an actual class. But when an actual class is not an option, that does not mean that we have to abandon Jiu Jitsu all together. We're  BJJ players. It's in out blood. You owe it to yourself to keep your training going and mitigate the loss of your mat time as best as you can. Look, sometimes none of what we talked about is an option. But in that crazy case, then there's nothing you can do, then, hey, there's nothing you can do. But really, how often does that happen? You CAN control what you eat. You CAN control 15min a day to do some stretching. You CAN improve YOUR Jiu Jitsu even is you're not on the mats/in class. As in all things, it all depends on you.

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