Alliance Jiu Jitsu Team providing 5 ways to improve your BJJ during quarantine.

5 Ways to Improve Your BJJ (During Quarantine or Otherwise!)

Most of us, at some point in our BJJ career, have been forced to take time off the mats.  Whether for illness, injury, family emergency, etc. We all know it can and will happen if you train BJJ long enough. I don’t think a pandemic and quarantining were ever what we thought time off  might look like. This is new to all of us.  It seems a little more challenging to navigate, both mentally and physically. As someone who has been forced to take long periods off of training for injuries/surgeries, I understand what staring down the unknown looks like. No surgeon can ever really give you a specific time to return to sport.  Most of the time they really don’t understand what our sport looks like.  It is an animal all it’s own.  The lessons I have learned during these long periods of time off the mat, with unknown time to return, can be applied to the situation we are in now. While you may not be able to be on the mat training with your teammates, and you are stuck inside your house trying not to lose your sanity, there are things you can do to not only improve your BJJ, but also help prepare you for your return to sport. So lets look at 5 Ways to Improve Your BJJ (During Quarantine or Otherwise!)

  1. BJJ Drills– There are so many drills you can do alone.  Drills like shrimps, sit throughs, footwork drills to name a few. There are vast resources of online material you can find.   There are YouTube channels that academies, such as ours, have dedicated to techniques and drills. If you have a partner that is quarantined at home with you, there are also a plethora of partner drills.   If not, now is the time to recruit your spouse, as you most likely have tried to do before!  Whether your partner is interested in BJJ or not, sometimes just having them be a passive partner can help.  Just a warm body that you can move around, will allow you to do some of the partner drills.  And if you’re lucky, maybe this will spark their interest and be an opportunity to get them involved in the art.   When you are able to be back training at your academy, of course!   Additionally, these movement drills help keep your body moving and more flexible.  They’ll keep your timing crisp.  All these things will help prevent injury when you are able to jump back into training.

  2. Videos– You may think that because you are not  able to do any live rolling right now, that your BJJ will not improve. There is a lot to be said regarding visualization. During times I have been out of training, visualizing my body doing movements I wanted to do or learn has helped me improve even when I can’t do the movements. Watching videos doesn’t even necessarily just mean watching technique videos. Watching high level BJJ matches and analyzing them for “concepts” and “connections” may help you see something.   Something that is missing from your game.  Maybe something helps you connect your favorite moves or positions. Think about concepts you can apply to your game, rather than just memorizing techniques.

  3. Strength Training at Home– Well you may not have access to any sort of strength training equipment during this time, keeping your body as strong and healthy as you can will also help you return to sport. Push-ups, walking lunges, ab crunches, body weight squats, pull-ups are just a few. If you have weights at home, your options expand even more. During this time many CrossFit gyms are posting workouts of the day that can be done in your home. They, just like the BJJ community, are trying to keep their community of students motivated and healthy during this time. Use these resources to your advantage! Besides, there is something to be said for giving your body a break from it’s normal routine.  “Shocking” your system will help you break through those workout plateaus. This will also help you stay strong to return to BJJ and help minimize injuries when you do.

  4. Eat Healthy– I know this, and any time off period, can be extremely hard and depressing. And it can be really easy to let your normal healthy eating slip and go for the comfort food. First of all, let me say, that one of the most important things you can do for your immune system is to eat healthy. So if for no other reason than to keep your immune system strong to fight or minimize as much as possible the impact of the COVID-19 virus or any other illness, you should do your best to eat healthy. Beyond that, gaining a lot of excess and unhealthy weight will only make it harder to get back on the mats and move the way your body is used to moving. I know it is so easy to gain weight when you can’t train. If you are someone that does BJJ regularly, especially live training, you probably burn a lot of calories doing so. Obviously any exercise you can do at home during this time can help you burn some calories and get the endorphins going.

  5. Connect with your BJJ Community– I think the isolation at home and not being able to see your BJJ community is one of the hardest parts of this.  When you are used to seeing your BJJ teammates so often, they become a huge part of your life.  They become your family.   To go from seeing them so frequently, to not at all, is really harsh.  While you may not be able to physically be with them right now, you can still stay in touch through social media, phone calls, texts. etc. We are lucky to have so many alternative ways to connect with people. Some teams, like ours, are doing a live Instagram and YouTube feeds. this helps connect with our students, show techniques and even do classes remotely together.  You are not alone.  We are all trying to navigate this together. Reach out to your teammates.  They are all there for you!  This will not only help keep you motivated during this challenging time, but also help you keep focused and engaged in BJJ.

This is definitely a challenging time for everyone.  Stay positive. Don’t panic!  As we learn from BJJ, we can’t always control the situation we ended up in.  We can control how we react to it!  Let’s try to make good choices. So try these 5 Ways to Improve Your BJJ (During Quarantine or Otherwise!)