Many students are way too tense.
It’s a big reason why newer students tend to gas out when they first start training.
I think a lot of it is due to the gi. Because you’re always in a state of grabbing and pulling or grabbing and pushing.
I’ve noticed from others and myself as well, that we’re usually not breathing during those movements.
Which leads to my biggest point. Jiu jitsu is so anaerobic that if you don’t take small breaks during your training. Even the most conditioned athletes would be incapacitated if you had them move explosively for over 1 minute.
So let me clarify what I mean by small break so you guys don’t literally stop training mid roll and blame it on me lol.
When I say take a break that doesn’t mean that you just out right stop moving.
For instance, if you’re on top trying to pass. If you manage to pass the guard and establish your position on the side, use this time to also rest and catch your breath.
So in effect, killing two birds with one stone. Using the side control as your resting place and to control your opponent.
What’s important to note is that there will be times when you will need to be tense and other times when you will need to be more relaxed.
So the more experience rolling you have the more fined tuned your sense of where to explode and when to slow down.
I’ve found that monitoring your breathing is a good way to relax during a roll. Of course, when you’re moving around trying to pass the guard or to finish a sweep you won’t be breathing. That’s the anaerobic part that’s caused by the high intensity of your movement.
But when the action slows down. That’s when your breath work will come in to play. Try and take big breaths through your nose using your lungs and diaphragm.
Breathing through your nose hides that you are getting tired. A pro tip that I learned years ago.
It’s crazy that more instructors don’t focus on teaching students how to breathe.
It’s all connected in finding positions that you can slow your opponent down in. That will be your opening to recover and breathe.
Positions like the closed guard, half guard, and De La Riva work great to slow your opponents pace.
So please give this breath work a try during your next training session and let me know how it goes.