Aug 10, 2012

Refining Your Warm-Up Technique

I have come under a new appreciation for the warm ups we are doing in class. I had an epiphany style moment when one of our instructors mentioned to me that my technique was slightly off during the warm up.

In our school, we try and focus on technique based warm up drills that approximately mimic certain fundamental BJJ movements. Warm up motions like "shrimping", the "step-thru from turtle", and "phantom triangles" are common and no doubt your school does some of the same.

At the time I was following the class across the mat; butt scooting forward, then shooting my legs up for the triangle. He mentioned I wasn't really raising my hips far enough off the ground, and that the "bite" with my leg behind the imaginary neck was coming from too far outside of the imaginary body. He mentioned that the path my leg should take should be tighter and follow closer the contour of the body.

It was then that I had the eureka moment. If your technique is sloppy during the warm up drills, then you will have helped ingrain crappy technique into your muscle memory. I think it is safe to say that some of that will be carried over into your "fast response" technique in rolling

Lets say you review triangles once a week (which would be a lot). What carries over more in how you perform a technique? Drilling it properly 15-30 times during the "teaching phase" of that one class, or the hundred times you could possibly mimic it over a typical week's worth of warm ups?

In that instant when you need to call on a technique and not think about it, you brain and muscles quickly recall what they have done the most.

Now... I am not saying that your warm up should be as technically sound as the proper drilling of the class. It is a warm-up after all. But I think by adding a little more thought into how you perform the techniques during the warm up, you can do a lot to improve your reactionary time for certain techniques.

 I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, 
but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.~ Bruce Lee

While I was doing a little bit of research into this, I found this post from The Jiu Jitsu Labratory. If you have time, give it a quick read. I think it's fantastic!


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