David Jacobs' BJJGround BJJ = terrible way to get in shape

Edited: 1/30/13 10:47 AM
3/17/09
Posts: 11058

A lot of people who start up BJJ say they want to do BJJ as a means of getting in shape. 

IMO, if your main goal is to get in shape you are going about it in a totally wrong way. 

The acute and chronic injury risk is far too high in BJJ for it to be a logical means of getting in shape. There are far safer ways to get in shape.

BJJ is more for people who need competition or have the desire to pursue an art form. Any improvement in fitness is merely a secondary benefit. 

Thoughts?

Edited: 1/30/13 10:53 AM
8/14/07
Posts: 854
i think people who say that also mean they have fun doing BJJ. running sprints is a great way to burn fat, but it's also terribly boring. bjj is a fun way of getting in shape, but youre probably right, it's not necessarily the best way.

injuries definitely happen, but i feel like that risk really depends on your and your training partners

most of the older working professionals train in the morning class, and they generally train with more care for their partners and themselves. all the injuries seem to happen at night classes when the young and/or jobless come out to train (ie competitors). (edit: this is just my personal experience at my school)
1/30/13 10:58 AM
1/11/13
Posts: 147
Yeah, I know what you're saying.

Kano envisioned judo as a means of physical education (getting in shape), with the other added benefits being moral education, and self-defence...
With BJJ, i've found there are too many dickheads to make it a safe way to get fit; I wish all the 100%ers, the fatties (i.e., those who just flop on top of you, with nor regard for your safety, or what is acceptable in polite society), the neck crankers, and heel-hookers, would make like a tree and split.

Don't know if judo has such frequent injury risks...
1/30/13 10:59 AM
11/10/05
Posts: 3176
I've seen to many transformative results to agree with this. However, it does put a great responsbility upon the school to provide a safe but effective learning and training environment.
1/30/13 11:08 AM
3/17/09
Posts: 11059
mrgoodarmbar - I've seen to many transformative results to agree with this. However, it does put a great responsbility upon the school to provide a safe but effective learning and training environment.

But you've also seen transformative results with more typical fitness training right? 

If someones main goal is to get in shape, their chances of getting results are at least as good doing more traditional fitness training plus the injury risk is smaller. This makes traditional fitness training the more logical choice the vast majaority of the time. 

1/30/13 11:16 AM
8/13/09
Posts: 1888
I sort of disagree. I started Jiu Jitsu when I was very large. (I'm about 5'7) I was looking for a way to get in shape and my friend who is also my instructor told me to come train with him because Jiu Jitsu is the best form of exercise hes ever done. I lost a lot of weight and it wasn't until blue belt, 2 years later that I started training because I loved the art and wanted to get better at competing.

I think it's for both types. I think everyone has some sort of desire in their lives. It's just about committing to how important it is for you to fulfill that desire. Weight loss, competition or self defense I'd say are all equal goals. I just happened to fall in love with the sport aspect after I fulfilled that first desire to lose weight.


Here's the before and after I use to try and get people to come train when they are looking for weight loss motivation.

P.S. Yes I am aware that this photo makes it look like I lost weight and started hanging out with dudes instead of hot girls. I've heard them all!

http://i.imgur.com/f0CZirf.jpg
1/30/13 11:17 AM
11/10/05
Posts: 3177
Trichoke7 - 
mrgoodarmbar - I've seen to many transformative results to agree with this. However, it does put a great responsbility upon the school to provide a safe but effective learning and training environment.

But you've also seen transformative results with more typical fitness training right? 

If someones main goal is to get in shape, their chances of getting results are at least as good doing more traditional fitness training plus the injury risk is smaller. This makes traditional fitness training the more logical choice the vast majaority of the time. 


I have seen it, but I don't think it's as good in reality only on paper... B/c you have to enjoy it to stick with it long term. And there has to be something attractive about it to get you to go even there in the first place. Simply wanting to lose weight is generally not enough in and of itself and people will look for shortcuts. Otherwise we wouldn't have this epidemic. Now if something like the enjoyment of bjj itself can also become the main motivator, you will see long term success. I think that in this environment you're also making friends who are living a healthier lifestyle. You don't make friends at a gym as much as doing bjj with the training partners, etc.
1/30/13 11:28 AM
3/18/02
Posts: 371
Depends on the school. At the school I am at we have more of a family type atmosphere and we try to roll technical. We do get the occasional MMA guy wannabe who will get tuned up by the higher belts. Maybe it is because we do not have an MMA class. I have trained at other schools where you have to be careful of your partner trying to hurt you.

I am a 45 working professional, and for me BJJ is a way to stay in shape. At first I trained for self defense but now I train for fun, hang with friends, and to stay in shape. Better than running on a treadmill which I also do at home sometimes.

You need to have the mentality to Keep it Playful and tap early. When I get hurt it is usually because I let my ego get the best of me and try to escape a bad position instead of tapping. = )
1/30/13 12:15 PM
1/17/03
Posts: 5153

For ODennis:

 

 

Awesome job man!  Great to hear stories like yours.

1/30/13 12:17 PM
9/20/07
Posts: 2009
ya Ive seen too many huge transformations like the one above to agree with you... if you go thru the grind to get to say a legit blue belt you cant help but get in shape..
1/30/13 12:28 PM
2/27/06
Posts: 1133
However your sexual life has changed from threesomes to... Ken primola? Lol jk, that's awesome. I also lost most of my weight through jiujitsu. Phone Post
1/30/13 12:32 PM
1/17/03
Posts: 5154
Ken Primola is hilarious, love his bjj spoofs.
Edited: 1/30/13 1:10 PM
1/18/13
Posts: 16

I think anyone who trains regualarly will loose weight from when they started if they weren't in shape before hand. If you are getting injured that much from crazy people, then it is probably not the right place for you to train. If you want to start BJJ to loose weight, its more fun than running on a treadmill, it keeps you interested in going because you are always leaning something new, and probably less likely to gain back the weight you lost as opposed to a traditional fitness rutine. Its hard to force yourself to walk on a stair climber at 24 hour fitness when you aren't feeling it, but with BJJ you have something to learn and see the friends you have made, etc. I know plenty of people who have transformed themselves and their lives, without injury, because of jiu jitsu. Its not for everyone, but those who stick with it and enjoy see results and keep weight off. In my experice anyway.

 

1/30/13 1:19 PM
8/13/09
Posts: 1889
ChokeTheFace -  However your sexual life has changed from threesomes to... Ken primola? Lol jk, that's awesome. I also lost most of my weight through jiujitsu. Phone Post

Lol I really need to take an after photo with those 2 girls and re-do my before and after
1/30/13 1:45 PM
1/26/10
Posts: 473
There are a ton of of programs sold as "exercise" where there is a significant risk of injury. Crossfit first comes to mind.

I think you're going to find a risk of injury in any fitness program. The safest program would probably be "body by science" on nautilus machines.

Here is a little interview worth reading;
"THE REALITIES OF EXERCISE"
http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/?page_id=119


1/30/13 4:11 PM
12/6/10
Posts: 563
I think bjj is a great way to be active which will aid in weight loss. Eventually you'll be able to roll efficiently and not get as tired, so it's probably best to do some regular exercise as well. But doing jiu jitsu is better than the person who does nothing. Phone Post
1/30/13 4:27 PM
3/15/11
Posts: 131
BJJ completely changed my life. I started in Jan 2012 and weighed 19stone4.

1 year to the day I weighed 14stone12 and last week competed at the Europeans at blue belt, I lost but it was a great experience. I would recommend BJJ to anybody who wants to lose weight in a fun way.

Picture below is a full year to the day.

http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/5167/imageuac.jpg Phone Post
1/30/13 4:50 PM
3/18/02
Posts: 54679
" BJJ is more for people who need competition or have the desire to pursue an art form. Any improvement in fitness is merely a secondary benefit. "

What you said about pursuing an art...that is it for me. I think you can study the art in a manner that minimized injury. Training at a school that is not so competition minded is key. Having good teachers and students who let you train at your pace and watch who they match you up with in the spar is key also.

If you do this, commit 4 or so days a week, and tweak your diet a bit to be sensible, you will be in great shape. Dont make me post a pic of my biceps ;)
1/30/13 5:02 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 1555
Completely disagree with original statement. BJJ is a great way to get and stay in shape. You work your entire body and soul, without ever being bored.

BJJ is what you make it. I am 45 and have been practicing for 19 years. I am--knock on wood--free of any major injuries (I consider minor bumps and bruises part of the price of practicing a martial art/sport).

I truly believe in technique, don't force things on offense or defense, and tap when I'm caught. I'm sure this makes be a bitchass in some people's books, but I'll be doing this when I'm old and grey:)
1/30/13 5:04 PM
3/18/02
Posts: 54680
well said John
1/30/13 5:06 PM
10/13/12
Posts: 637
In.
1/30/13 5:51 PM
11/11/02
Posts: 26358
Ozzimandias - 

For ODennis:

 

 

Awesome job man!  Great to hear stories like yours.


You were doing better with the ladies when you had some bulk.
1/30/13 5:51 PM
8/19/06
Posts: 26
As someone who used 12 hours of training a week + some occasional lifting to drop 40 lbs when I was in Afghanistan, I can say for certain that BJJ can really get you into shape.

It's like any other work-out plan, you get what you give. If you put the effort in and keep at it, you will improve. Going to bjj once a week for a year won't get you anywhere near the improvement as going 4-6 times a week for 6 months would do for you.
1/30/13 6:20 PM
7/6/06
Posts: 244
BJJ has an enormous benefit over a "conventional" exercise plan for many people in that it's fun rather than tedious as shit, so they might actually do it.
1/30/13 7:14 PM
11/12/04
Posts: 960
I doubt anyone takes up BJJ with the sole motivation of getting fit. There are less potentially risky, albeit probably more boring ways of doing that.

It's a better fitness plan than sitting on your a$$ munching burgers, drinking beer and watching TV, though.