Jiu-jitsu is a very young sport. As such there’s often not enough scientific research when it comes to certain effects and varied approaches. In many academies the rolling time varies from 5 to 10 minutes per round because the most commonly used rules are the IBJJF ruleset where matches take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the belt ranking of practitioners.
The latest study published in the field of brazilian jiu jitsu comes from the University of Sao Paolo Institute of Biomedical Sciences and aims to analyze performance, time structure, technical actions, and perceptual responses of Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes during matches of varied duration.
The study was using 10 male athletes that were all very experienced – 6 brown belts and 4 black belts. All of these athletes were healthy in the 3 months prior to study and all trained at least 3 times a week.
Effective attacks were techniques that generated points or submissions while non effective were ones that generated neither.
In terms of results there were some interesting aspects – the athletes perceived exertion was greater in longer matches even though there was no difference in physical performance!
Further the study confirmed physical performance is quite relevant for a demanding combat sport like Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Grip strength endurance has been suggested to be an important indicator of Brazilian jiu-jitsu performance with maximal handgrip strength decreasing by 80 to 90 percent after combats.
Flexibility plays an important role during matches, especially for the application of technical actions and defensive maneuvers (Vidal-Andreato, et al., 2011).
The biggest practical application of this study is relating to grip strength. Indicating a need for exercises aiming to increase muscular endurance in the forearm, where the athletes indicated a greater perception of fatigue.