Jiu-Jitsu is an art that’s made up of a web of coordinated techniques executed to submit an opponent or an attacker. Many movements can become comprised though limited movement and compensation of one or more areas of the body.

Limited movements can occur on the most basic levels of human movement (such as walking and sitting down) especially observed in the sport specific approaches to skill development.

Limited movements can be caused by the previous injury, over or under training specific movements, performing a movement incorrectly, and encourages compensation to occur finding another approach to the movement but not a better way to move. Training a technique more often doesn’t necessarily mean that the technique itself will improve.

When the ability to functionally move is comprised it leads to limited and dysfunctional movement in life and training. Odds of injury increase drastically with comprised movement.

Have you ever heard the phrase “ To get ready for Jiu-Jitsu, do more Jiu-Jitsu”? Here is my answer to that statement and why a high performer needs more intentional movement and not just more Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners that have been training for any period of time realize the importance of optimal movement performance.

Here is a breakdown of some of the benefits for Jiu-Jitsu by major joint regions of the body:

Foot/ankle: Improved foot lock defense, “push off” for faster response for take downs and transitions in and out of positions, securely lock your foot “hook” in for triangle submission or rubber guard positions.

Knee: Stabilize better during a take down, able to sit in someone’s guard, push/pull the opponent out/in your guard, tighter turtle defense, able to get up to quarters for transition, able to “windshield wiper” the lower leg for passing.

Hips: Able to change levels for take downs, better at creating angles moving in and out of positions, better shrimping technique, faster and cleaner transitions, explosive hip bump sweep among others from the bottom, improves high guard function, increases application of side-control pressure and transitions, better mount position, transition, and defense…

Core: Better able to connect the upper and lower body for more power and strength, enhances hip mobility for all the above, enhances & accelerates force generation to execute ALL movements…

Scapula/Thoracic: (shoulder blade & mid-spine): Achieving neutral spine allows for more effective tak edowns, improved rotation when lower body is isolated, more force generation for arm submissions (from arm-bars to key locks and Kimuras), retracting arm from opponent with greater force, more effective arm drags for take downs, and arm/shoulder submission defense…

Shoulder Joint: Mobility improves choke defense, arm submission endurance, mount choke defense, smooth choke set-up, stronger arm drags, better ability to pull elbow in tight to the body…

Elbow: Effective arm-bar submission defense, better reflex timing, improved framing power and endurance…

Wrist: More effective grip function & strength, better framing on floor or opponent, better two-handed grip locks (like short chokes)…

When training and developing the body to move most effectively it is helpful to understand the benefits of adding a few extra intentional movements to your regime. We get our strongest when we train our weaknesses! The goal should be to go for optimal movement performance over its opposition to limitation and compensation. When you move better you feel better, and that makes life, and Jiu-Jitsu, a lot more fun!

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By Sarah Jean | Gravity Performance Coach