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Welcome to the Happy Grappler. The key to a consistent practice is joy. As an aging athlete, I continue to seek out methods that help to keep a smile on my face, relatively fit and pain free. This is my mental graffiti. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Undecided on my indecisiveness..

Greetings my fellow hapgraps!

It is cold and on the verge of snowing here in Illinois, I have a moment while I am on the downside of midnight shifts and wanted to talk about Indecision....

I have mentioned before that I have been practicing BJJ for 4 years, Judo for 11 and other mishmash hodgepodge for most of my life and invariably the question comes to supplemental training. "If I want to get better at x and considering that I spend enough time doing x, can I get better at x by supplementing y?" One of the sites I frequent on the Internet is, the greatest group of multi varied athletes in one place on the net: martial artists, highland gamers, powerlifters, rowers, and it goes on and on. The place is pretty famous for its unabashed hate of crossfit and there is a thread called the couch thread that has over 1,100 pages to it. In general the crossfit philosophy is to get better at specific things, you have to become a better general athlete. Now this is not the focus of my question, but I mention it as an extreme in thinking. Now when it comes to physical training to supplement an activity I have done the following:

-The traditional Far Eastern Supplementary exercises (Weighted Jars, poles, makiwara, etc.)
-Rubber Bands
-Olympic Lifting
-Bodyweight calisthenics
-Long Slow Distance running
-Strongman style training

Just to name a few. Several guys at my Academy are really into lifting weights. They are really good at it and incredibly strong. While I see nothing wrong with a decent strength training routine, I do not have the time, inclination and my joints no longer have the desire to utilize those methods. For me it comes down to a couple of questions. "Am I getting in enough mat time?" For years I tried to justify the fact of getting better in one area without putting in enough time at my main activity. Second, "What is one area that I need to supplement the most?" Now if you are like me, you answer that question by stating...everything. That gets us into our original dilemma..too much supplementation and not enough real practice. For me right now, it comes down to weight/stress management and mobility. When I spend time on those activities, my bjj practice and progress improves exponentially. For some, their weight might not be an issue, so it may be strength, or some other issue. Key point: the areas that we need improvement on won't always stay the same, so we need to holistically look at ourselves and spend a lion's share of effort on one area, two tops. My third and final supplemental training question is: "What sounds fun?" Let's get real, most of us aren't getting paid for this and we need to derive pleasure from it, or we won't keep doing it.

I may sound insane to you, but for me, I enjoy the constant activity of running. It supplements BJJ (my main activity) quite well. It helps my head as a form of meditation and it helps my waistline. The mobility work is for upkeep, maintenance and performance. What you do, in my humble opinion is up to you and dependent on how you answer the 3 supplemental training questions, otherwise, we could spend our entire time in analysis paralysis... so much time thinking that we spend no time doing. After all, my quest and I hope yours is to stay happy.

I hope this helps.


1 comment:

  1. Everyone always thinks I'm crazy because I love to run. Sometimes I go running after BJJ and my friends just roll their eyes. People who aren't runners/endurance athletes have a really hard time understanding the clarity that running/swimming/biking/whatever gives you, I find... I figure if I can lift after BJJ (which I do all the time) there's no reason I can't run.

    BJJ runners unite!