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!