Conditioning is an important part of staying healthy and of continuous, years-long BJJ training practice. But it gets even more important for the jiujiteiro’s wellbeing as the years fly by – both on the mats and in age.
Because of the higher risks that injuries pose as the time passes, it is of vital importance to pay attention towards approaching the mat rolling sessions and the time spent conditioning with sense and clarity.
Here are some of the things that a jiujiteiro can do in order to introduce more sense into his training, as he/she gets older:
1) Focus on performing the techniques more technically, rather than with force
This is amongst the first pieces of advice that a jiu jitsu practitioner hears when he first starts training, and it is advice that continues to repeat itself throughout the upcoming days, months and years of practice. And it could not be more true than when the jiujiteiro gets a „little bit older“.
Putting it quite simply: using more force = more of a chance to hear something crack (now not only in the body of your partner, but in yours as well).
So, for the sake of both true BJJ improvement and long-term health, aim to put even more emphasis on performing the techniques with less force and with more focus planted on the finesse of movement.
2) Roll light
Yes, Joe Rogan did say that: „Nobody ever rolls light.“ But, even if he wasn’t referring only to the hot-blooded youngsters and supremely conditioned individuals, a jiujiteiro should have enough sense to know when to slow down the pace.
Not all rolls are a means to an end, to submission and victory. Most of them should be sprouting out from a place of learning: of attempting to do something new, seeing how well you’ve done it, and then getting the lessons back to you. This means not going full throttle all the time, but maneuvering from one move to another with a knowledge-oriented mindset.
Apply this sort of a mindset in training from now on and you will feel so much safer, learning and improving at perhaps even a faster pace then before.
3) Invest more time into conditioning
As a jiujiteiro gets older, it becomes more important than ever to start spending time in the gym.
However, unlike the „younger days“ when the gym was a place for building the size and look of the muscles, now a BJJ practitioner needs to focus more on the functionality of the body – into the health of those muscles, joints and ligaments that will translate into long-term health on the mats.
More time being put into conditioning – as much of it as the amount being put onto the mats, even – and the right approach to it are key. Which brings us to our next piece of advice:
4) Define your conditioning exercises carefully
Even for an older jiujiteiro, it can be too easy to get carried away with ego-lifting and with picking the exercises which not only do absolutely no good, but which can actually harm him.
It is of utmost importance to consult with someone who has experience and knowledge, with someone who can figure out correctly what a jiujiteiro’s body needs and how to create his/her prehab and rehab regimes with sense.
Therefore, consult with someone who knows what he/she’s doing, with a professional. Sure, it will most likely cost money – but the investment will pay dividends for your health in the years down the line.