To condition or not to condition, that is the question…
Whether ’tis smarter for your body to strain under barbells and long distance runs, or ignore all that stuff and just focus on getting more mat time.
This is NOT an article about general fitness, or about achieving a goal in another sport. If you want to run a half-marathon for the challenge, the endorphins, or the sense of achievement then there’s no ambiguity about what you should do: tie up those running shoes and start jogging! (more…)
I saw something amazing in the pool where I was hanging out after a workout today.
First I noticed that there was a group of about 7 men jumping off the highest part of the diving tower, again and again.
This wasn’t a dinky little diving board 1 meter off the water. They were throwing themselves off the 5 meter board, which is high enough to make anyone’s heart go pitter-pat. (more…)
There are lots of reasons to start doing a conditioning program if you’re training in BJJ or submission grappling. The most important (yet often overlooked) benefit is to injury proof your body and allow you to train longer, harder, and more often. Other benefits can include increased strength, improved muscular endurance, elevated aerobic and anaerobic capacities, and more explosiveness, all of which will only improve your grappling game. (more…)
Last week I published my contentious, ‘Does MMA Make You Stupid‘ article. Since then there have been a few more developments on the concussion controversy, so I figured it was worth sharing the updates so as to keep you in the loop.
UPDATE 1: STEPHAN KESTING ON THE NHB NEWS PODCAST
Over the weekend I was contacted by Eddie Goldman, the Godfather of MMA, from the NHB News website and podcast. (more…)
MMA has been my guilty pleasure for a long time.
On the one hand, I’m a huge fan. I’ve been watching the UFC since its inauguration in 1993, and have enjoyed fights in Pride FC, Shooto, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and many other organisations. I have good friends who are professional fighters, and have helped them prepare for their fights. And I have nothing but respect for the skill, athleticism and mental toughness of the modern MMA fighter.
I often get questions about diet and nutrition from grapplers and martial artists. People want to eat correctly because they think it will make them more effective in BJJ class, allow them to recover faster after training, and provide them with better health overall.
Well, it’s true. What you eat can have a HUGE effect on your performance. (more…)
When it comes to supplements for BJJ, or any other sport for that matter, almost everybody giving you advice is lying to you. Or at the very least, deluded by wishful thinking…
And just to alienate even more people, by the term ‘supplements’ I’m including most vitamins, minerals, ergogenic aids, pre-workout drinks, post-workout shakes, homeopathic medicine, herbal concoctions, chinese medicine, and all the other products offered by the supplement-industrial complex. (more…)
This article and video are about how to train and continue to make progress in BJJ when you’re dealing with an arm injury.
Now I hope that you go through your entire BJJ career without ever suffering a single injury. But this is a contact sport, and therefore you’re probably going to get a little banged up from time to time. (more…)
This is a rather rambling post; in the words of Mark Twain, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
First, and most importantly, I really hope that you had a great Christmas (or alternate celebration of your choice). And that you got to spend time with friends, family and loved ones.
Next, congratulations on surviving the Mayan Calendar Apocalypse! (more…)
There’s no getting around it, all contact sports are inherently dangerous. And it’s hard to have more contact in a sport than in MMA.
Now it’s true that MMA might not be the most dangerous contact sport – that dubious title could arguably go to boxing or pro football – but in the past few years there have still been been some very, very serious injuries in MMA related to takedowns… (more…)
A lot of grapplers have creaky joints, and tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are just two of the most common overtraining injuries you’re likely to encounter at the club. Here’s one grappler’s solution to his grappling-induced elbow problems. (more…)
Here’s a reader question that turned into quite the 3-way discussion….
Q: Hi Stephan, I twisted my foot badly around 18 months ago. I tore a load of ligaments and was out of action for a bit. (more…)
Many combat sport competitors cut weight. Many fighters cut 20 or more pounds, and then rehydrate, trying to put most of those pounds back on between weigh-in and competition. (more…)
An individual seeking to become a complete martial athlete cannot afford to leave the ancient practice of yoga out of his/her training regimen. No other exercise addresses and develops as many physical AND mental attributes as yoga does. (more…)
By Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Ultimate Athlete, March 2003
The hard time for the training is already passed” – Rickson Gracie in Choke, before the 1995 Japan Vale Tudo Fighting Championship (more…)
By Stephan Kesting
Originally published in Ultimate Athlete, June 2003
|“Proper planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance” - the 7 “P’s” of the British SAS (more…)|
In the not-so-distant past weight training was discouraged for martial artists. “It will make you slow”, “it will make you muscle-bound”, and “all you need is technique” were common opinions from the ‘experts’. (more…)
Stephan’s Note: The following FAQ was first published on the mma.tv forum by ‘The Stewed Owl.’ I thought it was so valuable that I contacted the author and asked him if I could republish it on Grapplearts. He kindly agreed, so here it is!
This FAQ is a work in progress, since the topic of ACL injuries comes up so often. I will refine it and add links when I have time, including the posted experiences of other MMA.TV members such as eabeam and tyrian. (more…)
“I was relaxed doing yoga and this gave me the equilibrium to fight well”
- Wallid Ismael commenting on preparing, and winning, his Jiu-jitsu match against Royce Gracie, December 1998
You don’t have to look far to find yoga in grappling. (more…)
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is actually a fungus, not a worm. The first symptom of ringworm is severe localized itchiness. Basically it starts out as a little, red, itchy pimple. Soon this grows to solid pink circles on the skin, usually between the size of a pimple and a quarter. (more…)
by Mike Mahler, RKC
I thought that this article was a nice counterpoint to the usual nutrition-for-bodybuilding articles one reads in magazines and on the internet. While I am not a vegetarian myself it IS something that I respect and aspire towards. (more…)
by Martin Rooney, MHS, PT, CSCS, NASM
Have any of you ever watched a weight class fight in which one fighter looks far bigger and heavier than the other even though they weighed exactly the same amount the day before? (more…)
Stephan’s Note: Michael Jen is a BJJ Black Belt based in Northern California. He’s contributed a LOT to the art via his videos, seminars and forum posts, so I was glad to get his input on improving your BJJ skills (and it turns out that it’s all YOUR responsibility). (more…)
Some grapplers think that cauliflower ears are a status symbol.
Others think that it’s gross.
Some people can train for 20 years and still have perfectly shaped ears.
Others need to wear headgear all the time or their ears start getting lumpier and lumpier.