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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:22 pm    Post subject: Interesting observation Reply with quote

This forum has been slow for a month so figured I'd start something...

I find it kind of interesting that people will use the term "strong" to sometimes discredit an individuals technical ability. Not always but sometimes. "Strong" is almost seen as a "bad thing" in Jiu Jitsu. "He's just strong"

But how amusing -people will refer to flexible guys as somehow being technical. Any flexible guy is "oohhed" and "aahhhed" and he must therefore be technical. What's interesting is that both strong guys and flexible guys are making the same mistake- using athletic abilities to compensate for lack of technical.

Bending in half to prevent someone from passing your guard is no different than muscling a guard pass or submission
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14267
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's great value in your observation(s), TJ-Jitsu; solid post!!

Muscling will get the practitioner absolutely nowhere fast. Technique will, and always; knowledge and experience.

Muscling through will not help the practitioner pace themselves, and before long, that same practitioner will tire out...run out of gas.

Why??

I'd rather be strong in my technique(s), than in my physicality. No, muscles are important to aide in keeping our opponent at bay and the like, but one's strong muscles will tire before I decide to take advantages, and I'll still have plenty of gas in my tank.



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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been strangely unmoved by extreme strength or flexibility. Overall, I find having excessive amounts of either to be impractical, and a good way to set yourself up for many problems later in life. Most people will not do what it takes to maintain either of those extremes, and will end up suffering.

Some anecdotal examples:

Football players, swimmers and gymnasts - Many of the high school football players I went to high school with got pretty muscular. Now they're just fat. Gymnasts and swimmers tend to have hyper-mobility in their shoulders, as they work hard to gain the extra flexibility, but lose the muscle tone after a year or 2 of not training.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right, TJ. Strength and flexibility are just two physical attributes, and they tend to be noticed in those who have more of it naturally than those that don't.

I agree that it does seem like the "strong" guys always get hated on more than others, as though strength isn't and shouldn't be a valued asset, when it truly is. For some reason, it always ends up getting touted as a hindrance to performance, when other attributes are not.

My thoughts is that one should try to be as strong as one can. The body wants to be strong, so we should try to make it so, I feel. We all want to be as fast as possible, and as flexible as possible, but when we start talking about being strong, many MAists erroneously think that one shouldn't try to get too strong, as it will inhibit other attributes. That really isn't the case, either. One can be as strong and as fast as their genetic potential will allow them to be. One just as to push the body to that limit.

Ok, off soapbox now. Good topic, TJ.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok... There is a lot to unpack here, but lets take a look at 1 or 2 ways this so called "disparaging" is done, and conversely the praising of the more flexible.

First of all, there tends to be, among those who practice Judo and Jiu-Jiitsu, a certain appreciation for the aesthetic of winning from an apparently negative position.This is more likely to be the case if you are flexible as opposed to strong, because if you are bigger/stronger than your opponents, then you will likely, not always, but likely be in the apparently positive position.

This explains a great deal of the phenomena from an observer perspective, but still we are short of an explanation from the perspective of a player.
Now, some percentage of this can be explained by ego, but that doesn't account for all of it, especially not among higher level players.
One thing that tends to develop as we gain experience is an appreciation for control and an understanding of ways to overcome resistance. You know when you've been caught as opposed to being forced in to a position.
This leads, naturally IMO, to an appreciation. of flexibility over strength as an attribute.
Consider also, the fact that strength is fundamentally limited by body weight, where as flexibility can be applied to counter a much higher degree of body weight and strength. Additionally, flexibility, within reason, does a great deal to prevent injuries as well, where as strength training, in my experience, at least with the heavy weights, tends to CAUSE injuries.
Overall, in my opinion, while strength is a GREAT attribute to have, flexibility will lengthen your life as a grappler and increase your enjoyment of the art by giving you more elegant tools to deal with bigger, stronger people, and reducing injuries. As such, flexibility is an attribute more to be appreciated than strength among experienced grapplers.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strength and flexibility are both physical attributes that have some limitation based on genetics. Those who are "double jointed" have an advantage over the rest of us, just like those who are more explosive naturally have an advantage. It is true that both can be increased over time and training.

What this means to me is that someone who is both strong and flexible will likely have even more advantage as they learn to become better technically.
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TJ-Jitsu
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Joined: 30 Sep 2014
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Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Strength and flexibility are both physical attributes that have some limitation based on genetics. Those who are "double jointed" have an advantage over the rest of us, just like those who are more explosive naturally have an advantage. It is true that both can be increased over time and training.

What this means to me is that someone who is both strong and flexible will likely have even more advantage as they learn to become better technically.


Well, double jointed doesn't actually exist- its just a term for people who are flexible. Anyways...

So heres my two cents on it. Athleticism hinders technical progress rather than helps it. For good reason too. Any reliance on strength, speed, agility, or endurance is reliance on athleticism and less technicality. Many professionals aren't necessarily good in a technical manner but they're moreso merely good at optimizing their athletic prowess. These are usually the guys who wear out after they hit their early 30's.

I was one of those guys that was "double jointed" and it wasn't until I got my black belt and reinvented my game that I realized just how much bending in half hindered my progress. The same is true for a guy that's strong.

I'll just throw this out there- I recently saw a video of a "guy" explaining how to do a hip escape. Not for nothing, the guy IS very capable and very talented but his technical knowledge of the hip escape wasn't very impressive. In short, he does it like everyone else- hes just such an athlete (and top player) that hes never had to pay the price for NOT having size and strength and being on bottom.... and hes arguably one of the best there is in the game at the moment.
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bushido_man96
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Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJ-Jitsu wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
Strength and flexibility are both physical attributes that have some limitation based on genetics. Those who are "double jointed" have an advantage over the rest of us, just like those who are more explosive naturally have an advantage. It is true that both can be increased over time and training.

What this means to me is that someone who is both strong and flexible will likely have even more advantage as they learn to become better technically.


Well, double jointed doesn't actually exist- its just a term for people who are flexible. Anyways...

So heres my two cents on it. Athleticism hinders technical progress rather than helps it. For good reason too. Any reliance on strength, speed, agility, or endurance is reliance on athleticism and less technicality. Many professionals aren't necessarily good in a technical manner but they're moreso merely good at optimizing their athletic prowess. These are usually the guys who wear out after they hit their early 30's.

I was one of those guys that was "double jointed" and it wasn't until I got my black belt and reinvented my game that I realized just how much bending in half hindered my progress. The same is true for a guy that's strong.

I'll just throw this out there- I recently saw a video of a "guy" explaining how to do a hip escape. Not for nothing, the guy IS very capable and very talented but his technical knowledge of the hip escape wasn't very impressive. In short, he does it like everyone else- hes just such an athlete (and top player) that hes never had to pay the price for NOT having size and strength and being on bottom.... and hes arguably one of the best there is in the game at the moment.
I know that "double jointed" doesn't exist, that's why I used the quotes...

But, I agree with what you say. The problem with top level athletes is that athletic ability can mask what they lack in technique pretty well.

I'd add that speed is another attribute that can have the same effects.
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