Movement Practice: Learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is my ultimate workout for the body and mind. You don’t have a chance to doubt yourself or flex your ego. You have to move and react in microseconds and outwith the trappings of your own thoughts; which builds confidence, decisiveness and respect. It incorporates natural body movements, high-level cardio, and functional strength and is incredibly engaging for the mind.

My training has had to adapt from sparring with various partners – my cat, although skillful, utilises the same escapes every time (he scratches my skin and bites my beard) to focusing more on movement practice.

I wanted to share with you how this practice has helped me over the last few weeks to keep the same level of mental engagement, physical challenges and sense of improvement going.

Just because our bodies settle, doesn’t mean our curiosity does

Most people are already doing movement practice to some extent, the trick is to elaborate on it, and strengthen areas naturally. Movement practice reminds me of being a kid and learning your parameters of jumping, running, climbing and generally just having fun. When you’re younger, your body is constantly changing, so are your parameters and engagement. We lose this as we settle into our adult frame.

Here is a video of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu solo drill to show what can still be done at home and how movement practice is built into it.

Give it a wee go and see how you get on! Then, imagine doing it all with a fully grown adult on your back. It’s surprisingly addictive…

What I would say is to work with your body, your range of motion and your personal sense of improvement. The next video can be used as a guide and you could take one of the movements and break it down until it suits you. But most of all, have fun!

Main benefits to movement practice

It can be incorporated into your day-to-day activities

I felt that my balance isn’t as rooted as it could be (I’m right side dominant), so I try do the dishes standing on one foot alternations. Sounds totally bonkers I know, but my balance is improving, and thus my squats are getting better, my running is stronger, my yoga is more fun and my dishes are absolutely spotless. #humblebrag #youwishesyouhadmydishes

All the family can get involved

Encourage partners, pets, loved ones, un-loved ones, your reflection in the mirror, to all give it a go! When you and your nearest and dearest are doing handstands whilst Hoovering, turning book pages with their feet or using elbows to make sandwiches ”¦ please remember and give a kiss to the sky!

Build it into your own routine

You can use any background as a base: your yoga, weightlifting, running, walking, dancing, whatever your background is, and build on it. Likewise, a no movement practice background is just as valid, use your blank slate to build something just for yourself! Within your body and range of motion.