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Demetrious Johnson: “MMA is So Much Easier Than Jiu-Jitsu”

Demetrious Johnson: “MMA is So Much Easier Than Jiu-Jitsu”

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, a former UFC Flyweight Champion, recently shared his thoughts on the complexities of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu compared to mixed martial arts in a candid interview on the Unsubscribe Podcast.

The Complexity of Jiu-Jitsu

Johnson made a bold statement right at the beginning, asserting, “Fighting is so much easier than Jiu-Jitsu.” He elaborated by comparing the dynamics of both sports. In fighting, there is a level of predictability due to extensive preparation and analysis of opponents. “I have three months to prepare for you. I can watch all this tape on you. I know what your tendencies are, I know what your mistakes are,” Johnson explained. In contrast, Jiu-Jitsu introduces a myriad of unknowns, making it significantly more challenging. “I don’t know what you’re going to do. It is what it is. We’re going to run it and see what happens.”

The Gi vs. Gi Debate

Johnson also touched on the differences between practicing Jiu-Jitsu with and without the traditional gi. He described ghee as being “a lot harder,” citing the complexities introduced by the grips and various guards that can be used in gi. “If I put him in like a lasso or worm or a squid guard and he’s never been exposed to it, he’s like, ‘What the [__] is this?’” Johnson said.

The conversation delved into personal anecdotes, including Johnson’s experiences training with a Brazilian instructor known for his rigorous gi based curriculum. Johnson recalled, “He [messed] me up like it was a [__] murder… in the gi. I took my gi off, it was even worse. He just destroyed me.” This humbling experience led Johnson to appreciate the technical depth and mental challenge that comes with gi training.

Adapting to the Gi

Johnson discussed how transitioning to training in the ghee after years of no-ghee practice has impacted his performance. He emphasized the importance of movement, saying, “Movement is life. The body in motion stays in motion. The body at rest stays at rest; it dies.” This philosophy is central to his approach, whether he’s engaging in Jiu-Jitsu or MMA.

He also noticed significant improvements when switching back to no-ghee after extensive ghee training. “I’m constantly doing this all day, grabbing grips and pulling, so when I go back to no-ghee, it’s like I grab people… and I’m like, ‘Why is your hand sticking?’ Because I’m used to grabbing you like this,” he noted.

A New Focus

As Johnson’s career progresses, he is shifting his focus towards Jiu-Jitsu, appreciating the mental and physical challenges it offers without the dangers of head trauma. “I don’t want to get hit in the head anymore. I just want to focus more on building my brand, staying healthy, spending time with the wife and kids, and competing,” he stated.

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