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Other/Mixed Is strong really important for combat sports?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

thomas schmitzer

Level 4 Valued Member
Now, I don’t mean this in a bad way, I’m just disappointed with my last six months so I’d like some opinions.

I was out of BJJ for 16 months or so, and during that time I spent the first 8 months being lazy then I did S&S plus a little bit of naked warrior practice for about 7 months. After hitting timeless simple, I started doing the 10,000 swing challenge and the first couple days were miserable but it got better and better. I was only using a 24k bell, so strength wasn’t the issue, but strength endurance played a huge part.

After two weeks, I got to roll with a few guys and I spent two hours dominating everyone and never got worn out. Then, every month or so since I have rolled with the same guys.

After finishing the 10k swing challenge, I completed timed simple, and thought I should work on my base of strength. I have since spent the last 5ish months doing mostly barbell lifting, and have gotten much “stronger.” My deadlift 5RM has increased over 50 lbs, bench press about the same, and OHP about 25 lbs. In all measurable ways, my base strength has gotten much better. However, every time I roll I do worse and worse, and my strength gives out quicker and quicker. My conditioning is now terrible, which I totally understand why and am not too concerned about since I plan to work back towards going conditioning, but I thought my strength would increase and instead I now feel overpowered by people that are my size and have done zero strength training in the past two years but focused on aerobic exercise.

Am I wasting my time with base strength work? What made the 10k swings so useful for grappling, and is a workout like that sustainable or just a peaking program? My plan was to work more base strength, then soon I was going to switch back and do some q&d/S&S/A+A in addition to barbell work, but now I’m questioning whether there’s any point in strictly strength work for athletes outside of the strength sports. Should I just go back to kettlebells and skip all the other strength work?
Sometime in BJJ it feels like someone is stronger but they are actually just waaaay better at technique. I don't find strength training to be of huge benefit in BJJ anymore. It helped me when I started but now I just wait for people to screw up and take advantage of their mistakes. Obviously in BJJ your psoas muscles and hip flexors and grips get taxed to an extreme and these muscles get stronger just by doing BJJ. John Danaher has stated that the only exercise he insists his grapplers do are hanging leg raises. I do still feel that for my own health and wellness a training program is required but have found training BJJ 5 days per week leaving me with about 2 days for strength very much enough for me to have gains in both. But pressing a higher KG kettlebell does nothing for my BJJ anymore.
 

Period

Level 6 Valued Member
Sometime in BJJ it feels like someone is stronger but they are actually just waaaay better at technique.
I have ranted about this before (not on here though): most people - especially beginners - don't know the difference between "using strength" and "applying energy". They feel the applied energy - as a result of position, lever, applied bodyweight, and also a bit of muscular effort (lets say 30 pounds here and 30 pounds there) - and they then deduce that you must be using a s***-ton of strength. The most amusing part is when they then ask you how much you lift, and you honestly reply with a number lower than their max... although, to be fair, that latter part usually only happened to me when I was training with people three weight classes above me. Usually takes them a couple of years to realize that them spending more time in the weight room doesn't make them feel much stronger on the mat, because their energy leaks could fuel a small city.
 

Tarzan

Level 6 Valued Member
I've never been a fan of barbell work unless it applies directly to the sport the person is training for like track and field athletes , sprint cyclists , rowers and competitive weight lifters who can benefit from that type of linear strength (and a few other sports) but BJJ is all about technique, endurance and strength in unusual places, such as joint positions at or near lockout and positions of extreme rotation.
Sure a bit of baseline strength benefits any sport but with BJJ, endurance and being able to sustain an effort without getting gassed are much more important.
I'm no expert in BJJ BTW, I just passed the brown belt cert, strength carried me a long way in the earlier grades and really hastened my progress (up to the purple belt) but now it's not really giving me any benefit at all.
 

Pantrolyx

Level 5 Valued Member
After a little technical correction lately, I have found myself to submit higher ranked grapplers by "kidney squeeze" and a leg squeeze following an almost landed triangle from the bottom. So adequate leg strength comes in handy when the technique is also on par and the legs are long, at least. :cool:
 

Period

Level 6 Valued Member
After a little technical correction lately, I have found myself to submit higher ranked grapplers by "kidney squeeze" and a leg squeeze following an almost landed triangle from the bottom. So adequate leg strength comes in handy when the technique is also on par and the legs are long, at least. :cool:
"Leg scissors" are a staple in old catch ;) The traditional method to train them apparently consists mostly of isometric squeezes of grain sacks, wine barrels und spring-loaded devices, all of which would allow you to work on technique as well as strength. I've known a number of grapplers who still swear by these methods to develop "da squeeze".
 
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