We all seem to know someone that states they will join jiu-jitsu once they get in better shape. We all know that hardly ever happens, and it is just a way to prolong taking the plunge into trying jiu-jitsu. But what about when you already are a practitioner, and you are blowing your gas tank in the first match?
Everyone has a different perception of what it is to be conditioned. For competitors, it means to be able to last X number of matches in order to win gold without losing to fatigue. For hobbyists, it means being able to last a simple training session without running to the door to hurl. Some will suggest adding running and sprinting to your routine to build up your lung capacity and muscle endurance. Others might suggest things like CrossFit, swimming, jump rope, or HIIT. Different strokes for different folks, correct?
So, what is the key to getting better conditioning for Jiu-jitsu?
Time and time again I have been given the same response to this question by high-level black belts in the form of… more jiu-jitsu.
It is as easy and as difficult as that. Although all previous suggestions are great add-ons to your routine, there is no better solution to how to build up your gas tank for jiu-jitsu, than to train more jiu-jitsu. Running, sprinting, CrossFit and swimming are great, but for the most part it’s easy to regulate your breathing when you don’t have a 180+ lb teammate holding you for dear life in side control. Grappling is a whole other animal, with a very different energy output and requirement. Ultimately, there is no cookie cutter solution that can completely replace the benefits of everyday porrada.
Next time you feel like you are absolutely done in training and you are about to leave your soul behind, do one more round… and always one more round. Initially you will think you simply cannot keep going, and rest assured, it will not be the best round of your life. But it will be the most important one. Day by day, one more each day, and eventually you will be doing a whole lot more than back when thought you couldn’t. Remember that little by little, a little becomes a lot!