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понедельник, 13 апреля 2009 г.

Grip Strength for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo

Conditioning is a key aspect if you want to reach the top of your game and I think grip strength important aspect of conditioning both for judo and bjj.

I remember when I started out sparring newaza randori, my fingers were so tired after the first two fights that I could not really perform nearly as well as I could otherwise. I could not maintain a good grip on my opponents both standing and on the ground. This is why I believe grip training is important.

You need good grip strength both standing and on the ground, and an important judo exercise is even call "grip-fighting", as getting and holding a good grip is important to carry out a successful throw. On the ground, you often need a good grip not only to keep the pressure and control, but for many techniques involving the gi. Gi strangles involve often involve substantial hand and grip strength.

If you are a beginner, then of course there are other things to focus on. Your cardio and your technique always come first but I think once you've already reached a certain level, this kind of training is also beneficial.

Here are some exercises I've used to improve grip strength or just heard about:

1. Turtle position lift: lift your partner by the part of the gi under the armpits with him in the turtle position.

2. Sleeves pull: as your partner is on the ground, you grab his sleeves and drag him as far as you can along the mats.

3. Rope climb: use only your arms to climb up and then down. Doing this exercise regularly is well known to improve both your upper body and grip strength

4. Gi chin-ups. Throw your gi over a pull-up bar if you have one at your gym and do pull-ups.

5. Sand-bag lifting. Even grabbing the sandbag will make your hands tough while lifting will also improve your upper-body strength.

Many of the past and current bjj legends and MMA fighters are known for their "iron grip" including Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro", the legendary Pride Champion and Roger Gracie, the current Absolute BJJ World Champion.


There is a whole bunch of stuff you can do to improve your grip strength. The most boring of all I think would be to purchase hand-grippers. The idea is to sit, watch TV or in a traffic jam and use those things, doing the exercise hundreds of times a day to improve your hand strength. The truth is, it is just not realistic and almost nobody does it.

There are however a bunch of fun ways to improve your grip strength that I would recommend. One is rock climbing. It is a great sport that takes your mind of grappling, jiu jitsu etc altogether and on the other hand has some fantastic side-effects.

Rock climbing improves your upper-body strength (your arms) and your hand/grip strength. Try it out! I have actually seen on the internet and some bloggers already recommending it to help with bjj and judo. Certainly it is a great activity if you are looking to do a sport not related to grappling.

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