Often times, when starting out in jiu-jitsu, students are told to “slow it down” or “relax” through a set of techniques. The truth of the matter is that wherever you are in your jiu-jitsu journey, there is always room for more. More efficiency, more balance, more improvement. Here are some ways to reduce the amount of strength in your techniques when applicable as well as differentiating between limiting the strength you put into your practice and developing strength as an athlete.
We all have been victim to the enraged white belt who is hungry for that collar choke or arm-bar. The primal nature of grappling breeds this misconception that in order to be successful in beating your opponent, you must be strong. While there are instances in grappling where strength is a valuable attribute, more often than not, being patient and allowing your opponent to make a mistake will open up an opportunity for you to attack without strength as the “prime mover” of the submission.
Strength may not be the main focus of your practice when it comes to jiu-jitsu, but that does not mean the development of strength should not be emphasized. It simply means that taking strength out of the equation will help sharpen or enhance the other tools in your toolbox be it speed, concentrating your body weight in more advantageous areas for control, economy of motion, etc.
Just as other senses are heightened when one is diminished, according to Josh Vogel’s article “Do You Rely Too Much on Strength?” he states that “this is a form of constraints-based practice to develop the purest technique possible by taking away attributes. It is similar to removing a limb from play to simulate injury in training or closing your eyes to develop sensitivity of touch in certain situations”.
I feel that the principles used in jiu-jitsu are commonly used in life. You cannot muscle your way out of every problem. Some require finesse and poise. With that being said, if you would like to read more on this subject and many others, please refer to this link: https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/do-you-rely-too-much-on-strength.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu Carlsbad
6108 Avenida Encinas # C
Carlsbad, CA 92011