Jiu-Jitsu is the only sport where "strength is a bad thing?" I think not.

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by redaxe, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Just had a thought about the common phrase that BJJ is the only sport wherein too much strength is a bad thing, or calling someone "strong" is an insult.

    Using too much strength to substitute for proper technique is bad any sport. In tennis you will hit the ball out of the court. In baseball you will whiff if you swing too hard. In golf you will slice the ball into the woods. In swimming your stroke will be terrible and you'll just flail and thrash through the water. In football you will gas out and get injured if you block or tackle with too much strength and poor technique. Even in boxing, if you muscle your punches with your arms instead of using proper footwork and hip rotation, you will not be able to hit as hard.

    The whole "technique is more important than strength" adage is very true, but it really isn't specific to BJJ. A smaller, weaker person can win in almost any sport with vastly superior technique. There's nothing magical about BJJ. It's just exponentially more complicated than most other sports because of the relatively few rules and relatively many possible different situations that the athlete has to face. So it takes a longer time to get good at it.

    I don't know if that sounded profound, or just profoundly obvious, but thanks for reading either way.
     
  2. blackers10

    blackers10 Orange Belt

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    look at little kids who are well trained vs a beginner/ noob in any sport
    8yo tennis player vs a random adult the kid will smash them due to superior skill BUT the adult can use the extra speed and power and reach due to size to cover more of the court and fluke the return point etc
     
  3. Jiujitsunoob

    Jiujitsunoob Blue Belt

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    Strength isn't a bad thing in Jiu Jitsu. Take a look at all of the world champs, they're jacked.

    This adage is really just important for relatively new people to relax and learn technique.

    You reach a certain point where making your techniques 'tight' and using strength while maintaining your technique is the very very important.
     
  4. pjmeunyc12

    pjmeunyc12 Purple Belt

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    All sports require some level of explosive strength to a degree. In bjj match if two grapplers speed and technique are close or equal, strength can be the gamebreaker. All athletics is technique, speed, and strength combined
     
  5. cenix

    cenix Orange Belt

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    agreed. strength makes applying technique a lot easier. just pure strength alone is nothing without control or application.
     
  6. Joose

    Joose Purple Belt

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    No, god no what are you talking about? The kid would get destroyed. An eight year olds serve, hit, and speed would pale in comparsion to your run of the mill adult. Maybe if you said 13-15yr old.

    Technique is great but lets not make it this all powerful superbeing. Matt Hughes said it best when he stated that strength is a great counter to technique.
     
  7. blackers10

    blackers10 Orange Belt

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    maybe 8yo is a bit young lol, either way
     
  8. Dead Roman

    Dead Roman Orange Belt

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    strength isnt a bad thing, you just shouldnt focus on it when you are beginning. If you are hella strong and you have great technique, of course you should use your strength. Everyone talks about how insanely strong marcelo is.
     
  9. Rod1

    Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    This topic delivers.

    Some people just misunderstood when they were told as white belts not to use much strength as an excuse to never workout.
     
  10. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    Too much strength is a bad thing when drilling or learning technique, or trying to develop technique. Strength is certainly not a bad thing in applying it, or trying to make it work. Strength is a positive attribute to have, not a negative.
     
  11. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    All of what you said is true for BJJ, and also true for every other sport I can think of.

    Even weightlifting! If you use too much strength and try to lift too heavy before you learn proper technique, you're going to tear something or give yourself a hernia. You have to start with light weights and spend a lot of time focusing on learning proper technique before you can ever hope to lift heavy. I'm sure there are plenty of guys who are smaller and weaker than me in terms of raw strength but can power clean and jerk much heavier weight than me because they have learned and practiced the proper technique for that lift and I haven't. The two Olympic lifts (the snatch and the clean and jerk) are both highly technical and it takes a lot of practice to learn the correct technique.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010

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