If you want to improve your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game thing worth considering is BJJ cross training. Probably the first thing that comes to your mind is to try some other martial arts/combat sports next to jiu jitsu. However, there also many other activities that can be very beneficial for your BJJ game. One of them is rock climbing.
Why you should try rock climbing?
If you love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is a good chance you will love climbing too. When you start enjoying it, you will also almost immediately see how it is improving your BJJ game. Rock climbing is just awesome for supplementing jiu jitsu, because it is whole body workout, that keeps your mind turned on all the time and makes your grips insane. Besides, it’s also great fun.
Benefits of climbing for BJJ
Certainly, grip strength is important in grappling. If you lose a grip you might not finish a submission or lose a fight. In climbing, it is even more important. After all, if your grip fails on a cliff then you might get injured or even die. So, if you practice a discipline where grips are so important there is no other option than to improve your grip game. While unusually strong grips will translate into an overall improvement of your BJJ.
Another great plus of climbing is that it’s one of the few sports in which your whole body works. In this discipline, you are using your arms and legs all the time to maneuver up the wall. But it is not everything. You also have to work your core constantly in order to both stabilize and be able to progress up or to the side of the walls. Furthermore, to climb well you’ll have to learn balancing and weight distribution in a manner you’ve never encountered before. Learning how to shift your weight and adjust at all times due to imposed demand is a skill that will be very developing for your jiu jitsu.
In addition, climbing is also in some sense intellectually demanding. You just need to think about what you are doing and also need to be aware of your surroundings. And if you want to improve your BJJ game this is the mindset that you should be interested in.
Other advantages of rock climbing
What’s great about climbing is that the routes are rated by difficulty. This allows you to track your progress really well. Seeing yourself changing routes from beginner ones to some more advanced will be a very real and visible measure of progress. It can be also a nice change for your normal training if you see a lengthened lack of growth in your jiu jitsu. Also, if you are climbing 2-3x per week, you will get better at it very fast. Moreover, one of the best things about this sport is that you don’t need long to recover and you can go for hours and repeat it all the next day.
With climbing, you can choose whether you want to go indoor or outdoor. Outdoor rock climbing is a bit more complicated because is not as controlled as indoor climbing. That’s why for people just starting a climbing indoor gym and taking some basic climbing classes will be better. You will learn safety, knot tying, and basic climbing techniques there. In the indoor gym, you also can work with the help of a rope, or there could be a large, thick mat to fall on, etc. After you get comfortable with climbing indoors you can go on actual rocks. To remember that is very important because the other way climbing might end up being injurious.
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