Rest & Recovery

After training, rest & recovery¬†should be an ¬†important & vital part of your regimen. When training, it is very important to maintain peak awareness & focus. But what about after training? Sometimes it is difficult to unwind after a night of sweeps and chokes, when muscles ache and you feel dehydrated. When sparring or rolling your mind is incredibly active and aware. When at rest if your mind races at 100 mph , you might think ” how can i rest my mind? ”

It may seem that the nights lessons and techniques may have gone too fast and there might not have been enough time to drill or utilize the moves , but this sport is more of a marathon. It wasn’t meant to be taken as a ” now ” martial art , since experience cannot be taught.

More often than not after grappling, the body tends to feel sore and wore out, this is natural since the body isn’t meant to be put in this type of workout regimen. But the body’s natural ability to adapt and recover quickly after being broken down also benefits. The first few weeks or months may feel as though you are being worked at the Marine level, but that is only temporary. What really happens when you fight through the mental anguish is the body ” learns ” how to become more efficient, thus losing excess weight and increasing metabolism while burning fat.

But rest and recovery are also a vital ingredient in the development of a good exercise regimen or good grappling game. Distractions during everyday life can affect Jiu Jitsu progress in many ways. It has happened to professional athletes of all spectrums in sports including Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts. Many of us have other things in life such as work, family, relationships and so on and so forth that can cause distractions or cause us to not want to train on any given day.

But rest and recovery should never be neglected in any way. The reason why rest & recovery should always be at the forefront of good training is because when we ignore our body’s natural response to heavy physical assertion we increase our chances of becoming injured and becoming injured is a setback in any sport including Jiu Jitsu. Many of grapplers have ignored or brushed off small injuries and when that happens, small injuries become large injuries.

What may seem trivial after a night of training could potentially become more serious in the long run. Our natural competitiveness can be a double edge sword in that we want to win and give ourselves that edge for ourselves , and for our academy. Nobody sets out to compete to lose, there would be no point. 

Many people who grapple also walk around with some sort of injury, it happens, it’s part of the sport, how severe the injury and how a person’s ability to tolerate the pain and/or injury depends on the time that has passed rested.

Supplements can also reduce the frequency of injuries through health improvements. Joints and ligaments have the most frequency of being injured in this sport. Glucosamine and Chondroitin, when used regularly, can increase the joints stability and reduce the chances of ligaments being torn.

There is no ” fool proof ” way of not getting injured in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it isn’t possible, if you ask any one who trains in this sport they will tell you they have either been injured at one point or are currently injured in some form or fashion. So in retrospect, rest & recovery should be a major subject when discussing grappling only to reduce the chances of being hurt temporarily or even permanently. We don’t set out to break arms even though we train for such activities, but given the competitiveness of the sport it will happen eventually, just take care when your body aches as this body is the only one you have.

So be safe on the mat and remember that you are there to train and not to rip your partners arms or legs off, save that for competition!

*photos courtesy of SalasPhotography

Manuel Vega, Basic Author