Attitudes and Attributes

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by CrazyCossack, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. CrazyCossack

    CrazyCossack Orange Belt

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    So I was in class and the instructor commented that flexibility is very important for jiu jitsu, and theres guys that will kill you with it, and you should try to improve it.

    Makes sense I thought.

    Then I thought about it in relation to strength.

    Strength and flexibilty are both physical attributes that can be increased through working on them.


    Why then is flexibility seen in a positiive light, while strength is looked down on in grappling?

    You always hear about guys like BJ Penn and their amazing flexibility to stuff takedowns and how its so great, and he's got awesome grappling. But as soon as Matt Hughes or Sean Sherk out power someone there technique is poor and its seen in a negative light.


    How is it wrong to power out of an armbar.

    Yet its seen as a positive if you use your freaky flexibility to regain gaurd when the guy has almost passed, and would've passed save for you being able to bend your knee to your chest and get a foot in.


    So why is using flexibility good? and using strength bad?
     
  2. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    Using brute strength to disregard minor idiosyncracies of technique sets up bad habits in terms of learning and truly mastering jiujitsu. If you use the best technique you can muster and put some muscle into it, there's nothing wrong with that.

    Flexibility can take away from your technique occasionally - I suppose in the instance you mentioned, where instead of a proper reguard someone just takes advantage of their flexibility, that would be akin to misusing brute strength to make up for technique. The only difference between the two I think is that there is ample opportunity to misuse strength whereas misusing flexibility only has a handful of situations.
     
  3. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Brown Belt

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    In most cases, like competition for example, there is nothing wrong with using strength along with technique. Guys like Matt Hughes and Sean Sherk are not only strong but they're very good wrestlers. When they do something like escape an armbar, along with using their freakish strength they are also doing the little things that help them escape. Those little things are good technique.

    I think strength is seen in a negative light when using it excessively in a training environment. White belts in particular. It's one thing for an experienced grappler to use his strength when he needs to, and another thing for some 220 lb white belt to power out of things and throw around his much lighter sparring partner. Instead of practicing proper technique to escape he relies on his strength because he doesn't want to get tapped, and that in turn will cause him to learn proper technique more slowly.

    A quote I read on one of the training forums: "Stretch what you strengthen and strengthen what you stretch".
     
  4. Xxcx

    Xxcx The Ghost With The Most

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    Everything is important. It is not one or the other. Strength, flexibility, mental conditioning, physical conditioning, etc. are all vital in combat sports, in one way or another.
     
  5. King Creatine

    King Creatine Purple Belt

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  6. Garrett E.

    Garrett E. Orange Belt

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    Your assumption about strength is wrong. It's not looked down upon, good strength training is essential in most wrestling/grappling routines. I think what is looked down upon negativly is when people rely on their strength instead of learning techniques correctly.

    Afterall, eventually your going to run into somone just as strong/even stronger than you... and then what? You cant rely on your strength alone, you need the technique.

    It's like really strong guys trying to hold a vet on the mat with their strength alone. A guy 100 lbs lighter with less strength can keep a better base if he is more experienced--even though the guy is hella strong--it doesnt mean anything when your getting swept or submitted.

    But yeah, i can see were your comming from, IMO they are both very important.
     
  7. Deloitte

    Deloitte Blue Belt

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    When you rely on strength, you gas out faster and make more mistakes. When you rely solely on flexibility, perhaps you may make a mistake, but you don't gas out faster (in most cases).
     
  8. CrazyCossack

    CrazyCossack Orange Belt

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    Your absolutely right, use of too much strength can lead to bad technique, but that still doesnt adress use of too much flexibility.

    What if "flexibile jiu jitsu practicioner" never learns to move his hips from gaurd because he can touch his face with the sole of his foot and regain gaurd. What about them playing more rubber gaurd because they can, you may not think rubber gaurd isnt the same as using too much strength but....

    Rubber gaurd, using your superior flexibility to gain an advantageous position with inproportional flexibility.

    Or strength guy has, head/body crushing side control , keeping an advantageous position with inproportional strength.

    Just like an escape, they are gaining an advantage in position through use of their excessive attribute. Who's rolled with guys were they have to give up submissions because their shoulder is too flexible to be americana'd... etc...

    Do you think "fucking noob, how are his techniques (escapes) going to increase if he always relies on his flexiiblity to escape"


    I realize technique trumps all, and super technical beats super strong or super flexible.... but that is a moot point in the discussion.
     
  9. Slithers

    Slithers Green Belt

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    Flexibility like strength is an very beneficial attribute to have. It is a bad idea to RELY on these attributes during regular training IMO because you should practice perfect technique. During a competitive match I say use whatever attributes and technique you have to your advantage. I think perhaps flexibility is overlooked as an abused attribute, but thats probably because more people abuse their strength than flexibility.
     
  10. stlnl2

    stlnl2 Blue Belt

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    Strength is frowned upon as an abusable attribute because BJJ has ALOT of small whiney fucks practicing it. Plain and simple. Carlson and his team have ALWAYS maintained that strength and physical attributes are very important in BJJ. He never says anyone should rely on them, but in interviews he did make a point to say they are important, and that a game can be built around them.

    Also Strength differences are alot more common and huge flexibility differences, and can be felt alot more readily, causing whiney fucks to whine. The simple fact is they are both attainable, trainable attributes that can BOTH be increased to a large degree with some focused effort.
     
  11. Will_N.O.

    Will_N.O. Orange Belt

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    I get where you are coming from with the self-defense angle, but you may want to consider a quick discussion with that 165'er next time you roll. It may be that he is training just for fun too, and getting thrown around by a bigger guy isn't his idea of fun. If he prefers to work technique, I'm sure you could focus on that and then both you and your training partner can have a good roll.
     
  12. DropBows

    DropBows The "Original"

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    first off ur comparing apples and oranges.

    second off, the only time strength is frowned upon is if you're using strength at the detriment of building, or using technique. If you're just using strength then you're wasting you're time in jiu jitsu because you probably aren't doing it properly.
     

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