When seeking conditioning training for hockey, many of todays young hockey players hit the gym and begin lift or run, yet because of little guidance and professional supervision they end up injured or discouraged and abandon the gym. Recently a few young players have chosen a more unconventional way to develop conditioning for their chosen sport.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, aka BJJ, this martial art not only develops but has shown to greatly improve the same athletic attributes that many of todays high level hockey players have. Increased physical attributes like speed, power, strength, explosiveness, body mechanics, timing, sensitivity, awareness, accuracy, footwork, distancing, agility, line familiarization, flexibility, balance, coordination and endurance are what bring life and vibrancy to your techniques.
In addition no other form of training provides what an “as seen on TV” testimonial would describe as a “full body workout”.
BJJ particularly develops core strength and flexibility, and also develops body awareness. Through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you have to sense what is where when you are intertwined like a pretzel or are rolling away from a move, as well as become aware of what parts of the body have to be engaged in any given situation and relax those parts of the body that do not in order to stave off exhaustion. This attribute is extremely important on the ice, the importance of knowing where your teammates are on the ice and your ability to not get hit.
I have another theory about the physical benefits of BJJ. BJJ comes as close to mortal combat as just about anything we can do in modern society without having injury as inevitable. In live training, there is no holding back; none is necessary because the techniques have been developed with the objective of allowing such training. But the end point is a submission, typically by way of a choke hold or a joint lock. As I mentioned, you tap before sustaining an injury, but my hypothesis is that at a deeper level your body senses it is in danger and the result is a physiological response, which maintains the body in a heightened state of physical capability.
When seeking improvement in one sport many have a difficult time thinking outside the box, Brazilian jiu jitsu is far safer and far more beneficial than any other modalities.
If you are seeking to develop greater athletic abilities in one sport such as hockey look towards Brazilian jiu jitsu as one of the finest compliments in both developing physical athletic qualities, but also developing the warrior mindset. Through regular practice and Training requires and produces self-discipline.
Jiu Jitsu involves setting clear goals and achieving them. Self-discipline ensures you reach targets via training, motivation and effort. Perseverance. Even when you don’t feel like training or lack confidence, you must keep going in order to achieve your goals. This is self-discipline in practice. These are key elements to developing a greater athlete and better human being. Consistency Self Discipline and Perseverance.
Rui Rosario, Manual Therapist
TPI-Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
Certified Kettlebell Instructor, Certified C.H.E.K. Golf Biomechanic