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Yoga for combat sports

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Yoga-Girl Yoga for combat sports

In recent years more and more people practicing martial arts have come close to the practice of Yoga.

How is it possible that the practice of yoga makes you stronger in the BJJ and also Muay Thai?

When the Gracie in brazilian jiu jitsu started to show Yoga and breathing exercises in their preparation the world of bjj but not only, they became curious.

Thought philosophies, books and DVDs about Yoga for BJJ, Yoga for Martial Arts, Yoga for Fighter, etc. have begun to emerge.

I must say that it is not difficult to imagine that this millennial human expression brings benefits whatever you do, therefore why should it not bring benefits in martial arts also given the intrinsic characteristics it has or yoga and its practice?.

Often this approach to martial arts and in fighting as the BJJ happens at the time when age begins to make you feel and you look for a way to strengthen the body without stressing it further with multi sessions with tools, or calisthenics methods, etc.

But why not start the practice of yoga first?.

When most people think of yoga, they imagine a gymnastics class full of skinny women performing relaxation positions, without a drop of sweat falling.

This is the furthest thing from the truth.

I know you’re a tough guy, you’re a fighter, getting into a yoga gym with so many girls with tight suits is not for you…. Are you sure?.

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Yoga is beneficial for everyone, especially those competing in the highest levels of combat sport and is one of the most challenging activities that exist but that anyone can figure out an athlete.

It is a task parallel to what you practice that you can start doing every day for a few minutes and with time go to increase the time, the number of positions and difficulties.

You can also talk to a Yoga specialist to get you advice on the most suitable positions according to your needs.

There’s a good reason UFC fighters practice it like Diego Sanchez doing yoga every day.

The benefits of doing yoga constantly for long periods of time, greatly contribute to the physical ability of a fighter.

It doesn’t matter what martial art you do, BJJ, Muay Thai, MMA, etc. I mean whatever art of movement benefits.

If you’re not already doing yoga, start and here are at least 8 reasons why you need to start.

These 8 reasons are not all but are definitely the main and important for a fighter.

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8 Reasons Why You Need to Do Yoga If You Do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai

1. Injury prevention

The Brazilian Jiu jitsu is a fighting game that can also create a lot of tension.

From being closed on guard, being grabbed on the neck, etc. to apply pressure, hold the opponent still, apply strength and and express with intensity the movements of the body to apply techniques, or get out of lever attempts and strangulations, etc.

Yoga works to do the opposite.

When you practice your flexibility and controlled strength through yoga every day, the risks of muscle and joint injuries go away.

Yoga with time is also relaxing and realigns the neck and spine (a lot of injuries come from the stiff spine and neck sockets) and you can avoid this over extension to have a fluid body that is crucial in the fight.

The various positions in which you are stretched and the twisting positions of yoga lead to bending the joints with larger and wider angles where you usually succeed or you can possibly go.

This activity squeezes the old fluid out of the joints and allows a new fresh supply to be absorbed.

Are you changing oil!!!

Yoga keeps joints lubricated with liquid supplies all the time if you continue to do so.

The benefits on overall health and joints become very important as you get older, and yoga is one of the best ways to keep your joints strong and durable.

This is important for martial artists who practice wrestling and mixed martial arts because grappling techniques can greatly solicit joints.

Having healthy and durable joints that are more flexible and tend to heal quickly if you have minor injuries.

For younger people who still do not deal with much health, do not have prejudices, start immediately to take care of your joints because having a serious joint joint injury that requires surgery and almost a year of onerous rehabilitation, I also mean in rehabilitation money, then you will understand why taking care of joint health is so important.

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2. Body and positioning strength

Yoga focuses on slow and controlled movements, with proper breathing and control of the whole body.

With Yoga positions, you’re not only building stamina and flexibility for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also the strength you need to counter and subdue your opponent.

Yoga is also based on strength.

You don’t get to get masses like a weightlifting, which you don’t need, but by holding very strenuous positions for long periods of time, this condition stimulates the muscles in ways that conventional strength training does not.

In yoga, even if you don’t lift weights, you’re still lifting your body weight in many of the difficult positions you have to hold.

This makes building a very useful type of force in the fight and is especially useful for strengthening your core.

Having a strong core is beneficial for any sport, particularly in combat sports where many of the techniques used derive their power directly from the core of your body.

The amount of strength, coordination and balance it takes to perform some of the most advanced yoga positions makes you look ridiculous!

Despite your strength, you could enter a class where a toothpick-shaped girl can do a vertical push up with a vertical split and then slowly control her body on the ground… it’s absolutely amazing.

She has a strength perfectly balanced with her weight but in extreme positions, she is much stronger than she looks.

Not only do you build strength in the upper body area by performing sets of poses, but you also greatly improve your leg strength and your core.

Some of the movements you see yogis make make it all look easy, try!!!!

This simplicity is only a skill related to the fact that their nucleus is so developed that they have complete control of the movements of their body.

Screw into those potions holding up all your weight!

If he can balance you on one side supported with one hand I think it’s more impressive than lifting 180kg flat bench.

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3. Balance and Grip

The practice of yoga and its postures help you find balance in all areas of life, but a lot of this balance comes very useful in Jiu Jitsu.

The positions and grip with your feet and hands that you need to hold to stay balanced come in handy even when you need to have good support to control the base and apply the technique.

Certain positions of Yoga especially the reverse ones where you use a lot not your feet but your palms and your fingers, these positions increase the strength of your grip and your fingers.

Your feet and hands are key to keeping your balance as you fight.

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4. Flexibility and Balance

Shoulder pains, knee tendons that hurt, etc. are some of the many issues that come with an intense jiu jitsu practice.

Trying to escape a Kimura is very easy if you did a lot of yoga that feels less pain because you have increased the flexibility of your shoulder and therefore you have used “yoga stretching” for your shoulders every day in all directions.

This should come as no surprise to you because yoga consists mainly of keeping the body in extreme stretching positions.

Over time this will cause the muscle fibers to be looser and this makes you more flexible.

Being flexible has many advantages, including avoiding injuries such as muscle tears, joint damage, and back problems in the lower area.

The stretching you do with yoga also increases the flow of blood to the various parts of the body that carries essential nutrients and enters them to the muscle fibers stimulated by the hard workouts you do.

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This allows the muscles to remain strong and healthy even as they get older and allows them to recover more quickly after a grueling workout.

When you gain in flexibility in your body you will notice that the radius of movement and the ease with which you extend the parts of your body will be greatly improved, and become more explosive, faster.

In addition to improving flexibility, balance also improves. Many of the yoga positions require an exceptional balance to control and maintain stable position.

These positions will increase body awareness and force you to focus on the necessary body adjustments while trying to maintain difficult positions.

Over time, your body learns to shift your weight to maintain balance as a reflex;

This means that you no longer need to think about doing it a bit like when you learned to ride a bike, do vertical, etc.

For artists in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, mixed martial arts, these benefits are invaluable.

The more agile you are with your legs and hips, the faster you’ll be able to make a variety of different kicks.

There is a reason why Mirko Cro Cop’s kicks were so explosive; his legs and hips were flexible. If they had been stiff, he wouldn’t have been able to kick so quickly.

If you’re stiff you’re slow, hit slow but the same concept applies to your grappling.

Getting a take down or defending requires a high degree of flexibility.

Former UFC champion BJ Penn has been difficult to break down because of his great flexibility and balance.

Just because you’ve got his leg in your hand and he’s holding on to one leg doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful by knocking him down.

He had enough balance that he could stand on one leg for long periods of time, and his legs were flexible enough that the point where his opponent had to lift him was very high but still wouldn’t go down.

It was incredible.

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In addition to your game in take down, flexibility is a huge advantage for the ground fight of submission.

Anyone who saw Ronda Rousey wrestling with Miesha Tate at UFC 168 saw the extraordinary flexibility Rousey had in her legs when she varied the triangle on Tate from all different angles and this allowed her to control the ground fight.

One of the most obvious benefits that you notice when you start implementing yoga with the BJJ and muay Thai together is the improvement of flexibility and overall range of movement.

The dream of every fighter for example of Muay Thai is the ability to pull a perfect knockout kick to the head, unfortunately it is a gesture that requires that the hip and hamstring is very flexible and this is necessary to pull a kick to the head with precision and power.

The variety of potions you make during a yoga class drastically will help not only hip flexibility, but will help open your chest, relax your hamstrings, stretch your spine, and much more!

But now try to understand that it’s a path, you don’t just need 5 lessons, however, you can’t expect all of a sudden you’re able to do a split or kick your head after just a few yoga sessions.

Like everything else, flexibility requires discipline and the commitment to stretch every day.

Little every day.

Although yoga is great for BJJ and Muay Thai, consider that you’re in luck because today complete stretching routines have been created to follow after training sessions related to yoga movements.

Yoga provides you with a huge amount of balance and since you are a wrestler, a Muay Thai Fighter, or at least an art where there is stand up game, you know how important balance is and that plays an important role in being able to perform certain techniques correctly (especially circular kicks).

If you start doing yoga you will notice in a few weeks of constant practice how much your body control has increased.

Not only that, you’ll feel that it’s much harder for your training partners and opponents to do the projection techniques that normally cause your balance loss.

After practicing some of the super-embarrassing yoga positions for several minutes at a time, day after day, when you step on the toe to pull a circular kick you will feel perfectly balanced and it will seem much much easier.

Ps. Why do I talk about Muay Thai?. And not other martial arts?.

I’ll explain, with another question, why do all systems like krav Maga for example insert Thai’s low kick?.

Aside from this subtle joke, this approach to yoga applies to any martial art only that as I have told you on other occasions, I have the focus on Muay Thai and Dirty Boxing in the standing part.

I like and study other systems as well but my focus is that.

 

5. Breathing Control

The practice of yoga brings out kindness, the nature of compassion and integrity.

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but the struggle in general, also relies on humility, frees you of the ego, teaches you self-awareness and overcome personal challenges.

Many of the asana locations are typically born from animal positions.

The Brazilian Jiu jitsu itself is very primordial and animalistic as shapes and positions.

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Prana, the control of the breath and with the breath you learn to control yourself, your life force and energy, and eventually control the five senses and control your mind.

In certain positions you will discover the difficulty of breathing and how to manage to do it and to regain the calmness of the breath in those positions.

The Jiu Jitsu and the fight is very focused on not letting your breath get out of control so that you are lucid and explosive to do what the mind has trained to do during workouts.

If your breathing is laborious, the lack of oxygen makes your decisions hasty and you make mistakes, your movements are clumsy, slow, unexound, and even if you survived your opponent you felt the fear of not being able to express yourself, of not having control.

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6. Builds physical strength and strength of character

In a broader sense yoga can be seen as a way of life, a lifestyle in harmony with oneself and with the world.

This is a process through which the professional can go beyond his previously believed mental and physical limits to go further and accomplish something new.

Doesn’t Brazilian Jiu Jitsu do the same thing?

Doesn’t it help you get the same attributes and turn off the limiting beliefs on the tatami?

It improves your life!!!

Being able to push yourself through the pain, discomfort and stress of certain situations will not only help you fight through adversity on the tatami and in the ring, but will also be able to help you overcome the daily challenges you face in your life.

When things get tough (both in and out of the ring) it takes a strong person to persevere and overcome.

Sadly, a lot of people even very strong at the first difficulties easily give in mentally when pushed beyond their limits, or as soon as they receive a shot or difficulty in the fight phase and give up much more easily to the “battle” of those who are mentally strong and able to persevere through the difficulties that are inevitable in the formation of combat and in life.

Fortunately, with a good yoga training you become much more in tune with your body, mind and spirit (I know it sounds trivial, but it’s real).

You learn to feel good even when you are super uncomfortable and this is not little in Jiu Jitsu.

You learn how to push yourself over the mental barriers that are trying to break down.

You will learn how to turn negative voices in your head that are constantly yelling negativity at you and telling you to stop in silences and inciting voices.

Or learn how to turn a bad situation into a great opportunity with something as simple as changing your point of view, you will see everything from another, better perspective.

I know, this may all sound so spiritual and profound, but it’s the sheer truth of what’s going to happen.

 

7. Mindfulness

The practice of yoga allows you to learn to push yourself in addition to a situation of discomfort, represented by a posture of the body or a position.

This way that works internally, is really important because it teaches you to do with real hardships and the struggles of life.

Jiu Jitsu is uncomfortable at times.

Yoga can help you be ok even with those positions.

Jiu jitsu and Yoga let you get out of you and recognize your own emotions and a rationalization has been mental that helps you understand that certain things will pass and give it the right importance by making your life lighter.

I can recognize these feelings because they are no longer strangers, but old friends.

Friends I “met before on my yoga mat and big mats.”

Human feelings.

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8. “Yoga and your Body; Jiu jitsu and your Body “

Lean, strong, functional strength, with cardio … that’s all you need!

At every belt level in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you begin to understand that it’s just the basics, that what you see is just on the tip of an iceberg of understanding.

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Do you go from being beaten by one of the best white belts, to beating all the white belts and moving on?

Then, like a blue belt, you suddenly find yourself back at the white belt level with all the purple belts and so on and so forth.

There is never an end result, a result in which one stops growing and learning;

Ps. Sometimes it can happen that a very low belt beats a black one, but I have luck or there is a new talent on the tatami.

Don’t think about champions, they move with their own rules because they are talents in what they do, I tell you about the normality of those who practice.

It is not enough to train to become world champion but it is necessary for everyone to do it even to those who have immense talent if they want to succeed.

This is also why Jiu Jitsu is so perfect for life.

To become a better person, you have to be humble and know that as much as you think you know about it, you always remain a child with the desire and curiosity to learn.

If you know a lot about fighting and Jiu Jitsu, I can assure you that you don’t know everything, and that it takes a lifetime of practice, patience, dedication and hard work to keep growing.

Do not give up and always stay moving “forward”, even if slowly, as you can but always practice.

Yoga is in the same way that in Jiu Jitsu, practice although little but practice daily.

The more you practice, the more you get; what you see outside must be little compared to what you have inside, you have to be not appearing, you have to feel and perceive your essence as a vibration.

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A classic example is Guru Dan Inosanto who continues to study relentlessly when many might say what he still has to learn?.

Studying Jiu Jitsu at the Machado.

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You grow one level, you manage to make new positions and you realize that there are many more to do, you never stop learning so is the Jiu Jitsu so are the martial arts, you have to look only for your personal mastery not to learn everything because there is always to learn.

When someone uses both Jiu Jitsu and Yoga combined together, it means that you make your body and mind very controlled and become a pleasant human being, both on and off the carpet.

Yoga and Jiu Jitsu will give you the opportunity to fight your weakness and achieve victory over yourself.

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

Andrea

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Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Martial Arts and Fight Sport.

- Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA.
- Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms.

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! State Of Love And Trust!

Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Knifemaker

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