Longtime readers will recall that I’ve written about overtraining, under-recovering and exercise-induced illness before (e.g. Don’t Get Sick and Overtraining in MMA). It sucks to have a streak of hard training sessions interrupted by the flu, and being overtrained makes catching that flu almost inevitable. (more…)
I’ve received lots of feedback about a previous tip discussing how some methods of neck conditioning can be problematical for some people.
Grapplearts newsletter reader Kevin shared his favorite method of neck training with us: (more…)
Neck bridging is an exercise that is unique to the grappling arts. It is also controversial.
Broadly speaking, there are two main ways of bridging: the backwards neck bridge (belly to the sky) or a forwards neck bridge (where you are belly-down to the mat). (more…)
Today I want to write about a practice I don’t like and don’t endorse, but that is probably here to stay: cutting weight to get into a lower weight bracket for competition. (more…)
There’s one at almost every club. The guy who can’t lose. The guy who always goes 100%. The guy who applies every submission with speed and power. The guy who fights as if his life depends on it. (more…)
Not all submissions are created equal: some cause pain, some put you to sleep, and some do a lot of damage. Today I want to talk about the latter category, those submissions most likely to send you to the orthopedic surgeon. (more…)
Concussions are an ever-present possibility in grappling, especially if you do a lot of takedowns or striking. In fact I think it’s fair to say that everyone training in a combat sport for long enough will get hit on the head hard enough at some point to have some kind of concussion. (more…)
A grapplearts reader writes:
Q: How can I still train if I have an injured hand, wrist, arm or shoulder?
A: Being injured is super-frustrating when you want to train. But there are things you can do to keep your skills sharp even if you’ve got an upper body injury… (more…)
Most instructors, motivators and ‘experts’ will tell you to train, train, train. Today I am going to tell you the exact opposite: there are some days when you shouldn’t go within a hundred yards of a mat. The trick is figuring out which days those are. (more…)
A Grapplearts reader writes:
Q: “What are the true dangers of neck cranks?”
A: It is funny how many clubs ban leg locks but allow neck cranks. Necks are under a lot of stress in grappling, even under ‘normal’ conditions (more…)
A Grapplearts reader writes:
Q: “If you only had time for one cardio excercise which would you choose: swimming or running?”
A: Swimming and running are both awesome exercises, and both have their pros and cons. (more…)
Injuries suck. They hurt, they take a long time to heal, and most importantly, they prevent you from training. Knowing how to train around injuries is an important part of getting better at any sport, and this is especially true in grappling. (more…)
Grapplers are a tough bunch, and generally tend to ignore injuries unless broken bones are actually protruding from a wound. I want to temper this tendency by using the Grapplearts pulpit to discuss a very serious category of orthopedic injury: strains and sprains of the lowly foot. (more…)
I have received many questions about nutrition, and so far I haven’t tackled them in my newsletter. This is partially because nutrition is such a huge issue, and also because people are starting from such radically different baselines (more…)
Q: Given that leglocks are dangerous, how do you train them safely and still have confidence that they will work in a ‘live’ setting.
A: Although ANY submission is potentially dangerous, cranking someone with a heel hook or toehold can not only end the match, it can end your opponent’s athletic career. (more…)
My newsletter last week about grappling with an aging body generated a fair bit of feedback. Some respondents thanked me for the article (you’re welcome). Others called me a candy-ass and that I should work harder and complain less (they were joking, I think). (more…)
It’s said that lessons repeat themselves until learned. If this is true then there is one particular lesson that has been really hard for me to learn, and I have had to repeat it time after time after time. That lesson is: if you feel sick, don’t train. (more…)
Last week I listed the treatments used, and practitioners consulted, in my quest for a pain-free lower back. What I want to highlight this week are the actual treatments that made a difference. (more…)
I have met many people, both on and off the mats, who seem to take their injuries with resignation. They say things like: “I just have bad shoulders”, or “I’m going to have to live with this bad back for the rest of my life”, and are content to live a less rich life. (more…)
An old judo coach once tried to help me with an injury by saying: “there are internal ligaments in the body, but there are also external ligaments that are available to you” as he handed me the roll of white athletic tape. (more…)
Shoulder injuries are fairly common in grappling. Most often they are the result of an overzealous Kimura (chicken wing) or Americana (V arm lock) attack, but shoulders can also get damaged by other techniques, such as throws and sweeps. (more…)
Wrestlers are no stranger to wearing shoes while training, but I think that shoes can also be useful for jiu-jitsu and submission grappling practitioners under certain circumstances.
Wrestling shoes have two major advantages: increased traction and injury prevention. (more…)
This week I am will continue talking about protective gear for grappling, moving on from mouthguards to earguards.
The vast majority of submission grapplers and Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners do NOT wear earguards, and neither did I for a long time. (more…)