The other day, I received an e-mail from my friend, Billy Hofacker, Operations Manager and one of the lead instructors at Serra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Matt serra’s School in Long Island. I’ve had the good fortune to have trained at Serra-Jitsu a few days last summer while in NY City on business.
Along with being an excellent BJJ player, Billy’s really into fitness, conditioning, and nutrition. He sent along this website that I wanted to post on my blog, “Training for MMA Fitness”
It’s a great website full of interesting facts and strategies for improving one’s fitness, cardio, strength training, nutrition, etc. There’s even a few free self-assessment tools that you can use to help modify or create a fitness plan for yourself. While I realize that GJJ prides itself on a smaller, weaker individual being able to defeat a larger, stronger opponent, I still think it’s important to compliment my own Jiu Jitsu training with a decent fitness program as well as pay attention to what I eat and drink. I still have my membership to my local gym although I go there quite a bit less than I would go prior to beginning my BJJ Journey. But I still go. I focus heavily on cardio exercises, and I have changed up my strength training a bit to sustain leaner, more durable muscle mass. I also stay away from a lot of pushing exercises like the bench press for I have a bad habit of trying to “muscle” back to guard when somebody has me in side control rather than relying on technique. I stick more to pulling exercises like rowing and lat pulldowns and incorporate exercises that will also improve my grip strength.
Now, regarding class last Monday: Darren taught a very basic, yet extremely detailed class on pulling open guard with the gi. I’ve done this a fair amount in the past, but have never felt real comfortable doing it. But Monday felt different. I’ve been working very hard to immediately pick a side to turn to when achieving any form of open or closed guard, for I have a habit of being TOO FLAT. Monday felt really good—I’m fairly comfortable with the gi grips and the mechanics of pulling open guard, and I’m creating decent tension with my partners while doing so. We worked triangle chokes and arm bar set-ups from this position. I need to work on elevating my hips when I don’t break down my partner when taking an arm bar. The triangle felt a little better to me. But I really have to focus on better hip movement from the open guard. I’ve been trying to open the guard more while rolling in an attempt to expand my submission game, and Monday’s class was extremely helpful to me. No class last night due to inclement weather—yes, Darren’s developing a bit of common sense—smiles! So I'm really antsy to have a good class and to roll really hard tonight!