The Year of Muscle

Each year I’ve been training has had a theme.


  • Year 1 – The year of rolling and being used as a wrestling partner !!
  • Year 2 – The year of Youtube and being used as a wrestling dummy !!!
  • Year 3 – The year of having a coach and going into temporary wrestling retirement !!

I’m not quite sure what this year has to hold but looking around me I’ve noticed for everyone else its the Year of Muscle. But me, I believe Jujitsu is not about strength or else you wouldn’t have a 68kg individual submitting opponents of over 100kg – the whole idea behind BJJ is to beat a bigger stronger opponent due to your level of skill.


Training does require strength no doubt about it but to waste your efforts on simply muscling up will hinder your game especially if your techniques are only working due to your extra strength.

Black belts roll in a relaxed fashion – more like a dance than a fight – many of them do Yoga or Pilates or Tai Chi to counter the hardness of BJJ. BJJ is a sport of thinking not forcing. If you know how to move well you can quite easily overcome size and strength to submit your opponent with ease. If you want to progress to purple, brown and black this evolution in thinking and rolling needs to take place.


The other issue with strength training is “overtraining”. Training BJJ three times a week and then doing weights three times a week along with work and a family is a very tough schedule and is almost certainly going to end up in an injury which will in turn mean you’re off the mats for a few days, weeks and possibly months.


You need to recover from training just as much as you need to train and the older you are the longer you need !!! My motto is stay safe and stay fit !!!!


One Response to “The Year of Muscle”

  1. Soheel March 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    MMA is just that. It is a mixture of mtaiarl arts being taught to help you win a contest. Which combination of arts is dependent upon the gym in which you practice. Some mma gyms allow you to choose between several of the arts that they teach the ones that you want to train in. In most places you will not learn the art itself, but you will learn a limited amount of techniques from those arts. How good of a fight you become is determined by how well you practice, your ability to perform what you have been taught and how good you coach is at teaching and coaching. Everyone that trains in mma will not be good fighters just like everyone that joins a basketball team will not be good basketball players. Most mma places do not teach jujitsu. They teach jiu jitsu. There is a difference.Everyone chooses their art based upon their own goals, reasons and or recommendations. We don’t know you goals. If you are looking for self defense I would recommend that you find a good traditional mtaiarl art. If your goal is to one day fight in the UFC then find a good mma gym.Our dojo is a traditional school. There is the guy that now trains with us that is a mma fighter. He is from out of town. He had been search for a good mma place to train but was having much luck. Someone told him about us. He has a background in traditional arts too(wing chung). He is a muay thai and jui jitsu guy as well. My sensei more than twice his age agreed to roll with him a little. My sensei would counter and instruct him throughout them rolling. He enjoyed his workout. He asked if he could continue to come and train and roll with us. It was explained that we are not mma, we are traditional but he was welcome to train and learn. He has been coming every since. We also introduced him to others that are good in mma. This guy was going to do a self defense seminar Friday that just passed. He asked me to help him practice and to give him some ideas on what to cover for his seminar. This guy is a fighter. I had to remind him often that he was teaching beginners. Do not teach them to use brute force or to fight. Many will not have the capacity to fight right now. Teach them to defend themselves well enough to get away. Teach them to escape. Keep it simple. Many of the techniques he wanted to do involved a hard strike or 2. I again had to remind him that some of the men and women in the seminar aren’t string enough or skilled enough to strike someone hard enough to stop them. Teach then how to escape, counter, run away, avoid, and to be aware of the surroundings. Teach them to make a lot of noise to get the attention of others so that someone would call the police to get them some help.This guy is a good fighter. He has a lot of knowledge. He was a drill sergeant in the marines. He is good at combat or mma, but not as good at teaching self defense applications to the general public. I also had to tell him to assume that everyone that comes is a beginner or novice even if they have had some training before. You don’t know what they have been taught or what they have retained. Teach them the basics and build from there. In tradition mtaiarl arts we don’t teach you to fight. Anyone can fight and trade strikes. But we teach you to end the threat quickly while limiting you attackers ability to harm you. We do not want to trade strike or kicks. We hit without being hit. I don’t care how good you become you can only block so many punches before you get hit. But if you position yourself correctly you can’t be punched, but you are in a great position to strike or take out your attacker.