Six Ways Yoga Can Make You A Better Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Artist

Some martial artists don’t realize the benefits that yoga can bring to their discipline.  In fact, did you know that the martial art of Kung Fu actually evolved in China from Hindu yoga exercises in the sixth century?

In the centuries since then, both of these forms of discipline and exercise have evolved in their own distinct ways.  Other forms of martial arts have sprung from these original roots in ancient China too.  Additionally, yoga and the martial arts complement each other and it has been shown that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students can particularly benefit from yoga.

Yoga Improves Balance

Many yoga exercises involve standing on one foot or in positions that seem very awkward at first.  Taking the time to master these exercises can make martial artists, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students at Final Round CSA, more sure-footed and confident on the sparring mat too.

Yoga Improves Flexibility

You may think that some stretching exercises you have observed in a yoga class are similar to stretches you already perform during your BJJ warm up.  However, that may be because your instructor or your discipline already borrowed these exercises form yoga.   Besides, yoga positions are likely to take stretching a step further than the ones that you experience in your short warm up.

Yoga Improves Breathing

During yoga training, students focus on controlling their breathing as they also concentrate on maintaining difficult positions.  This discipline also helps improve breathing during your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training and competition.

Yoga Improves Core and Limb Strength

Even though yoga looks like a very passive way to exercise, holding those poses requires both endurance and strength.  Many positions particularly target the core, and this part of your body may be left out of the traditional workouts you engage in now.

Yoga Improves Mood and Concentration

Like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, yoga is a very mental discipline.  Becoming adept at this requires more than just strength and flexibility, but it also requires concentration and focus.  You may also find that your yoga sessions provide you with a way to relax in a way that your active and competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes do not.  When students practice yoga, they are encouraged to let go and release negative energy, and the only person that they need to compete with is themselves.

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu qualifies as both a martial art and a combat sport, but it’s unique among its peers. Everyone from practicing Buddhists to competitive fighters have incorporated this relatively new sport into their everyday exercise routines, and for many it is a lifestyle all its own. Jiu Jitsu is recognizable by its constant contact and ground fighting techniques, such as holds, joint manipulations, chokes and locks. However, its main purpose is restraint, not harm, and it emphasizes technique above all else. BJJ has an interesting and complicated background, and today it’s a go-to conditioner for athletes from many different disciplines.

Buddhist monks and non-violent intentions inspired Jujitsu, yet competitive fighters incorporate it into their strategic training today. Jiu JItsu is associated with both fighting and with nonviolence, and it has benefits that include everything from self-defense to weight loss. To understand the spirit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it is important to know its history.

In the early 20th century, a Japanese immigrant named Esai Maeda was stationed in Brazil because of his father’s job. He met and taught ancient fighting techniques to Carlos Gracie, a Brazilian boy who eventually opened his own martial arts school with his brothers. One of those co-partners, his smaller younger brother, began to adjust the Jiu JItsu techniques to better accommodate his own, smaller frame. It is from these adjustments that modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born (BJJ).

Rickson Gracie, a member of the original Brazilian family who created this iteration, said that “his life’s mission is to show the world how a “warrior spirit” could actually make people more peaceful”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu values form over size or intimidation, and these elements are what make BJJ a life-saving hobby.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often called the Great Equalizer because of its emphasis on technique, rather than size or strength. That makes it particularly suitable for those interested in self-defense training, as its core principle requires participants to imagine an opponent who is both larger and stronger than themselves.

True to form as both art and sport, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is accessible no matter what your body type, gender, height, or weight. Competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sees fighters sparring with people of their own ability category, while it is also used for physical strength training among athletes who range from professional wrestlers and UFC fighters to swimmers and ballerinas.

The right technique is about gaining an edge over your opponent, so the most successful BJJ maneuvers are related to its ground-fighting techniques. There are plenty of stand-up Jiu Jitsu matches too, but the best way to gain physical leverage over an opponent is to lock them in a particular position against the ground, so most training revolves around padded floor mats. Chokes, holds, and elbow and knee manipulations are commonplace in the contemporary practice of BJJ, which is ranked just like its peers, by belts of varying colors.

One of the most important lessons that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu imparts on its loyal practitioners is an intuitive knowledge of which positions one should avoid. Because you learn to rely on intelligence, agility, and foresight, you can better anticipate the possible range of motion of your opponent. that means you can prevent vulnerabilities that the average athlete wouldn’t notice.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an increasingly popular exercise option for a wide variety of demographics. It’s accessible for amateurs and hardcore fitness enthusiasts alike, so no matter what your skill level, you can benefit from the peaceful and empowering benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Boxing Bag Classes are a Great Workout for Everyone and FUN!

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.21.16 AM

 

Despite common misconceptions, boxing bag training is not just for professional boxers. Far from it; just about anyone can benefit from a boxing bag class. Neither the workout nor the bag discriminate based upon age, gender or fitness level. The bag is a constant that can help you to improve health and fitness, or maintain existing levels. A boxing workout old-fashioned? No way! It’s one of the latest trends in health and fitness. Still have your doubts about the benefits of a boxing bag class? Check out these five ways that training with a punching bag can improve your health:

1. Better Cardiovascular Health and Fitness

Punching and kicking the bag repeatedly in coordinated ways during a class helps the heart and lungs to get an excellent cardiovascular workout. Intensity and pace changes throughout the class, which challenges the metabolic system in ways that a typical cardio training session just cannot accomplish. A boxing bag class gives a complete and comprehensive workout where other forms of cardio fall short.

2. Builds Strength and Power

Both punches and kicks ensure that your arms, shoulders, back, legs and chest all get an excellent workout during a boxing bag class. Your core and trunk are also engaged, building up more strength and power to kick and punch. Many boxing class students notice that as the muscles and core get stronger, overall strength and power increases.

3. Improved Reflexes and Coordination

During a class, circling the bag and punching and kicking it using different combinations helps you to stay agile on your feet. Many boxing class students report dramatically improved hand to eye coordination as well as overall balance and stability. Students can exercise a variety of movements and combinations to fit their health and fitness levels, building stronger and more adept reflexes with each and every class.

4. Helps to Reduce Stress

Stress in life tends to build up over time, and many people just don’t have access to a safe and healthy way of releasing it. Most of us has thought, at one time or another, “I sure wish I had a punching bag right now!” Working out with a boxing bag helps to release pent up anger and reduce stress hormones. In their place, mood-enhancing serotonin and endorphins are released — the body’s chemicals of happiness and well-being.

5. Sculpts Your Body

Both upper and lower body muscles are thoroughly engaged with the boxing techniques in a boxing class. There are a variety of movements used during the class, and one of the long terms benefits is better definition of the muscles and a more fit, sculpted look. Yes, in addition to cardio, strength, coordination and stress-busting benefits, boxing enhances your physique, too… Score!

Clearly, boxing bag workouts have tremendous benefits for just about anyone. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing alternative to your current workout routine or want to take your health and fitness to the next level, a boxing bag class can be just what you need.