The Perfect Match: How Yoga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Go Hand-In-Hand
Yoga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Use these two words in a sentence and you’re bound to turn heads. Not because individuals assume you’re speaking another language, but because not a whole lot of people realize the overlap between the two. In fact, there have been accounts of Jiu-Jitsu instructors utilizing yoga techniques in their training regimen for some time now. And upon close examination, it would appear that yoga and Jiu-jitsu were meant to complement each other. Don’t believe us? Read on.
Correction of Imbalances
Fighters often experience tension in the muscles and, because of the various defensive and offensive postures they make during a match, they experience what is commonly known as contraction. The main sign of a contracted state is a hunched back. This comes from the constant fighting position Jiu-Jitsu fighters find themselves within. Now, they’ve discovered that regular practice of various asanas and vinyasas lengthen and open the body thus correcting this unbalanced state.
For anyone who’s ever tried yoga this on is pretty obvious. Clearly there is no doubt that practicing yoga increases flexibility. For fighters, though, this provides a tremendous benefit
. It’s an attribute that is unquestionably beneficial to anyone in the sport. The greater the range of motion in your joints the more options you have in each position, and therefore the more adaptable you are to unforeseen changes during a match.
Increased Strength and Balance
Certain schools of yoga
practice core strength exercise. It also teaches intelligent strength. That is, training the nervous system to fire muscles at a particular time and in a specific sequence. Intelligent strength also trains you on what muscles to engage to maintain a specific pose or alignment. This muscular endurance is perfectly suited to the specialized contractions required for applying chokes and strangles during a match, as well as improving throws and takedowns.
Body Awareness and Breath Control in Jiu Jitsu
Jiu-Jitsu utilizes your body as a tool for each competition, and the more you become aware of your body movements, capabilities, and limits, the better you’ll fair on the mat. Yoga increases body awareness to a maximum, and the benefits cannot be overstated. Also, breath control, taught religiously in vinyasas, teach you to coordinate movements and breathing through training you to engage your diaphragm and use your lungs to full capacity. These tricks greatly improve stamina during rolling.
Sharpen the Mind
In addition to all the physical positives derived from yoga for jiu jitsu, there are also plenty of positive mental effects as well. These include the ability to immerse yourself into immense concentration while synchronizing movement and breathing. Here’s a benefit that is unmatched in utility in which certain stillness and focus of the mind set you on a higher level than your opponent.