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Thursday, 15 March 2012 17:14

Size isn’t everything at Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu Coach

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At the Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu Coach, students from all walks of life attend classes to learn correct jiu jitsu technique from Professor Marcello Monteiro. In addition to the wide array of demographic information represented in the academy, there is also a broad selection with regards to the size, shape, and strength of the participants. There is usually a suitable training partner for everyone in each class session, someone who is a good match and a challenge for both athletes who can push each other to improvement. However, the beauty of the sport of jiu jitsu is that size and strength aren’t always everything.

Jon Correa, General Manager of Marcello’s Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu academy located at 4967 South Emerson Ave, has told us multiple times that “the only way to get good at Jiu Jitsu is to practice Jiu Jitsu.” By that he means that size, strength, speed, and flexibility, while all beneficial and important in their own right, can never overcompensate for experience, practice, and technique in the long run. It seems that having exceptional size and strength is somewhat of a double-edged sword. Of course, on the one hand, you can overwhelm your opponent or training partner using brute force, especially if you are both beginners or of the same rank, all else being equal. On the other hand, the more muscular and compact you are can make you more vulnerable to certain submissions. For instance, if you have huge, powerful shoulders, while they may be strong they will probably have a lesser range of motion than your opponent, leaving you more susceptible to the kimura submission. Also, big forceful opponents, before they learn good jiu jitsu technique, can exhaust themselves more quickly going for the early submission. If their opponent is higher rank and has more practical mat experience, chances are good that they will be able to successfully defend for a minute or two until the larger athlete gasses out, making it easier for the more experienced combatant to then end the match with a submission.

Professor Marcello is always focused on the proper technique in class, as well as the mental aspect of the game and minimizing mistakes. He trains us to be able to take on larger opponents and still maintain our dominate position at all times with superior execution. I know from personal experience that size is not the deciding factor in Jiu Jitsu matches. I have submitted a couple of bigger guys with less experience than me, but more importantly I have been completely dominated by higher ranked, more experienced guys who may weigh forty or more pounds less than me. They have hundreds or even thousands of hours of mat experience, have been in innumerable different situations playing the “game,” and aren’t the least bit concerned about how much weight someone else can bench or military press. It takes years of consistent hard work and effort to take your game to that level, but once it is there it makes experience a much more important factor in a Jiu Jitsu fight then strength.

So, no matter what your size or strength level, don’t let it deter you from practicing the sport if you aspire to. After all, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is somewhat of a leveler for the smaller guy, and is more of a mental game anyway. And if you can put exceptional strength and conditioning with top notch training and experience, then watch out!

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