What Champion Bodybuilder Kai Greene Can Teach You About BJJ

An old training partner sent me a short email yesterday. Here’s what it said:

“I know you have a paucity of spare time – but this video of pro bodybuilder Kai Greene is GREAT!  His plain speaking talk about self discipline and mastering fundamentals to achieve excellence is probably the best I have heard. I think you will enjoy this.”

And my friend was 100% correct. Despite being short of time and very jet lagged I couldn’t stop watching this day-in-the-life documentary about the gentle man-monster Kai Greene.

You might be tempted to say “well I don’t bodybuild so none of this applies to me.”

That would be a mistake.

Even if you think bodybuilders are a bunch of ugly freaks then you still have to admit that it’s an incredibly demanding field of athletic endeavor.  And as an athletic endeavor requiring sacrifice, discipline, and thousands of repetitions in the gym it’s not so different from BJJ or submission grappling.

Kai talks a lot about the fundamentals.  Now you might think that this means concentrating on the basic lifts like the squat, bench press, rows, etc. with good form, and you’d be partially correct.

However what I found really interesting was that for Kai the ‘fundamentals’ include organizing his day, planning his meals, and prioritizing his goals.  These types of fundamentals, and this sort of attention to detail, don’t just apply to bodybuilding; they are 100% applicable to anyone who wants to excel in our sport as well (although a grappler wouldn’t typically consume a small flock of chickens on a daily basis).

Ultimately what this video is about is how you (and only you) are responsible for your success, regardless of whether your goal is to win the Mr Olympia or get a gold medal in the blue belt middleweight division at your local tournament.  Only you can get you to focus on the small details that make all the difference.

At almost one hour long this is not a short documentary, but in my opinion it’s time well spent!

I leave the final words to Kai Greene:

“Those star moments that fill the highlight reels and leave an audience in awe… those seconds are built upon thousands and thousands and thousands of hours that a lot of people wouldn’t think are worth adding to a highlight reel.”

Ain’t that the truth!

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