Systems in BJJ: Understanding How to Put It All Together

One of the most significant differences between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and “traditional martial arts” like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and others is that BJJ is not yet done cooking.  New moves, strategies, and concepts are constantly being created.  One of the most recently concepts to emerge is that of “systems.”

A system is essentially a game-plan that covers a wide range of conditions and moves you toward some central goal.  John Danaher is probably not the inventor of “systems” but his recent work on leg-attacks and his even more recent back-attacks system have pushed the word into mainstream usage.  Danaher’s leg-lock system is basically centered around achieving the leg-entanglement known as ashi-garami and from there hunting for a heel hook.  The focused nature of the system is important.  While one could theoretically transition into and out of a variety of systems, they typically include a start-to-finish mindset.  Once you’ve spent the time and energy entering into the leg-lock system it simply doesn’t make sense to transition out of it.

But are systems really all that new?

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Supplemental Exercise for BJJ: Swimming

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great workout.  It works your core, your back, your cardio, and a large handful of other muscles.  However, as exercise it suffers from some crucial problems.  The single biggest problem is the risk of injury, both chronic and acute, that extensive BJJ practice presents.

For me, I find that if I train 5 days a week for about 1.5 to 2 hours I’ll begin to get little nagging injuries after a month or so.  Often it’ll be a finger joint that bothers me, or perhaps turf toe.  Sometimes the pain manifests in a bigger joint…but that is usually due to some sort of acute injury.

So, recently instead of filling our desire to exercise with more jiu-jitsu, my wife and I have begun swimming.  Is it the best supplemental exercise for jiu-jitsu?  I think it is!

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5 Easy 30-Minute Swimming Workouts to Help Your BJJ

It seems as if right when we got back into swimming, it started to get popular as a cross training activity in the BJJ community.  So rather than extol the benefits of swimming or explain how it will help your jiu-jitsu, I’ll share the 4 most recent swim workouts we’ve done and our go-to workout when we don’t have any workout planned.

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